I wish I was writing you in the wake of peace.
We lost 3 men today during evacuations. 7 yesterday, 2 on Tuesday. That's the really shitty news. But our operation is still at 80% capacity and we have evacuated roughly 5700 as of today.
The situation is bittersweet. YOUR DONATIONS ARE THE REASON THESE EVACUATIONS ARE POSSIBLE.
Beyond our inner team on the ground, and our shock of loss, it’s quite a challenge to even speak about what's been happening and what's going on in the rest of the country, it’s urgent and dier, Natacha and I have decided to take it on again. And now we know exactly what to do to stretch every dollar.
This is the plan that is in motion as of 3pm Paris time today April 15th, 2022:
If you recall, I mentioned early on that the needs would get more and more specialized, and thus more expensive. In the east, and in the north, what is needed immediately are armor to protect drivers and humanitarian workers who are constantly risking their lives, and they need ambulances fitted out with basics for collapsed lung, arterial bleeding, etc. So:
11 armored vest, type 4 at least, with neck and side protection. I was able to find a dealer in UK, and a great deal for how they're outfitted. We are going to buy their whole lot (22). With taxes, that's $12000. We need that today. The guys on the ground are literally cutting 0.5cm steel into plates, but they tell me they know it's more for psychology than for effectiveness. 10 ambulances with equipment and medical supplies to run them. We found a partner in Lithuania, a real ambulance dealer and outfitter, and they have very solid 6-7 year old vehicles at $45k a piece. They can outfit them with equipment and medicine. The medicine would be roughly $4500 extra, a bargain price because we actually managed to find a company willing to do business on humanitarian terms. A deadline of 10 days for this part of the mission. You can read the in depth insights, updates and analysis below. If you are in the position to transfer significant funds today, call Adnan directly so we can give you the different NGOs or suppliers bank information.
Donations under $5000 are currently accepted in our personal accounts (Natacha and I are likely going to have to pay 60% taxes on all the cash buys for the first operation, unfortunately, but we did take this on fully cognizant of that taxation being a likely scenario, and who are we to worry about taxes at a time like this).
The situation is a grave one for civilians and UA soldiers alike. With the Russians consolidating forces in the southeast, we have an onslaught of casualties and wounded following the incessant bombing campaigns. It looks as though the Russians are running out of missiles on the eastern front, which is good news in a sense, because grenades and projectiles take longer time, and are much easier to avoid compared to a missile with 14 sec. flight.
Not only are Russians consolidating in the east, but they have ramped up their bombing campaigns in the rest of UA, especially the green corridor we were anticipating would become too dangerous for sustaniable logistics. The word on the ground, and we have plenty of videos about this on our website, is that the Russians are targeting gasoline storage facilities, humanitarian aid depots, hospitals, not to mention the indisciminant bombing and night-incursions in the vast soviet-style apartment complexes littered all over the place. Let's not forget that Kharkhiv, until recently, served as the "greenzone" where evacuees coming from the north could find first shelter before going onwards--in our chain they go to Odesa, and from Odesa west towards Ivan Frankvist and City of Goodness, and then onto EL*C at the border where they get matched with hosts in Europe. This is all to say that the violence is long ways from being over. And since the media caught up regarding coverage of the mayhem, the sheer immensity of the destruction--rape, torture, pillage, you all have confirmation now of why we had act and act fast back at the end of February...The same, and I'm afraid, much worse, is happening in the south and southeast now.
"School#25"...the video is from today. Did you know that footage from the ground is going being priced by the second, with 15 sec. for $2000--so if any of you passes this on to a professional outfit, make sure that they pay us ;) Natacha was on the ground in Poland on the Ukrainian border for a second time, but this time with a whole film crew. Since our mission was completed, we haven't stopped working--only gave you all a much deserved break, perhaps a means to a calmed mind knowing you did something concrete. To date we have 24 vehicles working around the clock in all sectors of Ukraine. We have also been reinforcing and moving the logistical chain around. By this point, we have a direct line to the Ukrainian command and the President's office. Besides that work, we have been working with the Ukrainians on creative ways to raise funds to buy more specialized equipment. We do need cash right now so we can book the necessary supplies (shipments are coming and getting sold before they even get on the market).
We have a website now, but we will continue to write updates here first. As I said at the beginning, with so many casualties, and losses that we are directly witnessing, it gets more difficult to return to civil pleasantries and write you all in a coherent, reporting matter. To leave you for now on a fun note, because we have to keep hope alive, keep our wits. Natacha had a genius idea to turn one of the VWs that served in the evacuation of Chernihiv and Busha evacuees during the genocide up north into a sculpture and auction it for funds to provide the Ukrainians with as much concrete support now while we can still save substantially more lives than even a stone-throw away from now. Our Ukrainian partners loved the idea, they jumped at the opportunity to be proactive in the creation of something that will return to them as funds to help themselves. We've got Christie's onboard to hold an evening auction in early June, but we need to secure a guarantor for the starting price. As a teaser, I'll share the images of the van before its transformation with you. The sculpture, aptly named L'Objet Petit A, will be part of a larger multimedia collection.
Special shoutout to Stefano Corazza and Bay Raitt for their amazing and immediate response and help. Bay created a 3d model of what the sculpture will look like-it's been absolutely instrumental in finding a manufacturer for the sculpture, a gallery, and a yes from Christie's.
Now all we need is a guarantor. But I'll take a line to VW if anyone has one! All of our vans are VWs from the '00s and teens, and we're thinking that perhaps VW would be a guarantor for the auction, or a bidder even.
There is also a documentary in the works. An interest in a super major American newspaper, and even a German TV channel.
As always, if you can help, or pass this on, please reach out. I'm available day and night at +33(0)605798004 or this email address.