Mountains of vital supplies are being gathered by Bristol residents before being transported to the Ukrainian border as the Russian invasion wages on.
Staff at Emersons Green Village Hall, which has been set up as a collection point, said the genorosity of Bristolians dropping off essential items such as food, clothes and medical supplies had ‘taken their breath away’.
Two vans driven by volunteers left the hall last night (Tuesday, March 1) packed with food, clothing and medical supplies, with more scheduled to leave over the coming days.
Once they hit the Ukrainian border, they’ll be picked up by aid workers who will distribute them among refugees and the military.
The fighting across Ukraine has now entered its seventh day (Wednesday, March 2), with attacks confirmed in the cities of Kyiv, Zhytomyr and Kharkiv.
It is believed that Russian troops are currently surrounding Kherson and Mariupol in the south of the country.
Vera Postasvka, a mum-of-three who lives in Bristol, said she was touched to see donations flooding in at the hall.
She said: “It’s great to see the people of Bristol coming together to do everything they can to help.
“The Ukrainian people will never bow to the Russians, but they still need all the help they can get.
“The military have held Russian troops off for this long, they haven’t managed to totally capture any of the major cities, and I find that mindblowing - but they must be exhausted.
“My family live near the Polish border and are relatively safe for now, but their safety is not guaranteed - nobody’s is in Ukraine right now.”
A similar scheme has been organised by Ukrainian Anna Habarova, who lives in Weston-Super-Mare and has been gathering donations across the South West.
She put a call-out on Facebook for donations and received an ‘overwhelming’ response from Bristol in particular.
Anna said: “The van is leaving on Saturday (March 5).
“I can’t go to Ukraine as I have a 20-month-old son, but I have to do something and I feel that this is one way I can help.
“My sister has managed to flee to Poland but, at just 22, she is scared and doesn’t speak the language.
“I’ve tried to bring her over here but have been told I won’t be able to as she isn’t classed as an immediate family member.
“I have lots of friends in Kyiv who tell me that food is becoming scarce. Babies are stuck in bomb shelters without nappies and some of their mothers are so stressed and frightened they are unable to breastfeed.”
For more information on how to drop off donations at Emersons Green Village Hall, click here.
To donate to Anna’s appeal before Saturday, March 5, send a message to https://www.facebook.com/donate/932649587618789/.