Our big-scale Humanitarian Distribution in Donbass

We did a distribution of humanitarian aid yesterday donated by people all over Russia, all over the DPR. A kind lady, Dasha (and I’ll mention here the help of Sean Taylor) got involved, so it got quite big scale, electrical appliances, wood, and more and went to places most in need – from Novoazovsk to Yasinovataya, to centres educating, caring for, and inspiring children here in Donbass.

I’m in the DPR for a few days, doing some more humanitarian work, then another working trip to Crimea. Sad to report that in the DPR, shelling goes on, in fact even as we were leaving Yasinvataya, early evening, it started, and by all accounts went on through the night. A young man was killed by Ukrainian shelling of Donetsk yesterday.

On a more positive note, thanks all those who made big-scale help to places for kids in the DPR today possible! I don’t collect financial donations for this, as sadly that simply leaves one open to allegations which, although they may be entirely untrue, are something I could do without, to focus fully on my work.

However, if you have items to donate, let me know, and I’ll think what we can do.

Crimea to Donbass – where Help is more help than Reportage…

As I’ve written, I’ve just returned from an intense 2-month period of work in Crimea, to Donbass. While I was away, Ukrainian media did their usual business, nonsense, by fer8writing that I’d ‘fled Donbass, not to return, etc‘, often adding in their perennial favourite that I’m ‘gay’, for reasons known only to them.

This was a deliberate misuse of what I’d actually said, which was that I had no current plans to film reportage from Donbass. That came after a 3-month period, from May to July, where I’d done everything I could, filmed everything I could, but just couldn’t get people to watch the reportage. I do all of my video reports with the idea that they will change the world, for the better, by delivering the truth, otherwise, why do them?

If it comes to the situation that I know that whatever I do will get at most, a few thousand views, with little or no resonance, it’s hard not to think ‘why bother’, honestly. More, not Crimea humanitarian 13that I judge everything by views, because I could take a video of a cat on a skateboard, or speak about Lady Gaga’s new single, and get a million plus, but they are an indication of how much something is needed, or wanted.

If people don’t need, or want, my reportage from Donbass, as the low views indicated, then foisting yet more would hardly seem the answer. Yet ‘ditching’ Donbass was never, ever even considered. More, I used the time in Crimea – where my reportage reached a mass audience, with views in the millions, to think how better I could help Donbass, if my reportage wasn’t what was required at this time.

I spoke with people in Crimea about this, about Donbass, and gained more insight into this. People in Russia still support Donbass, as before, but, there’s a lot of pain associated with it, it can be painful to watch it. Almost 4 years of war, people still suffering, the Crimea humanitarian 12.jpgdeath of iconic Donbass figures, such as Givi, Motorola. How many videos of people crying that their homes have been shelled can people take?

More, people are aware of the situation in Donbass – it’s tough, but stable. War goes on, at the lines of conflict, homes on the perimeters are still hit by Ukrainian shelling. It’s low-intensity war. This is still a human tragedy, but one that doesn’t translate into mass response to reportage. People know it, are sad about it, but what can they do about it? Everyone is waiting for something to resolve this prolonged, painful, inhumane situation.

So, views of reportage can’t be conflated with concern, or engagement in the Donbass Crimea humanitarian 7.jpgsituation. When in Crimea, I organised gatherings for people to donate goods for humanitarian aid, for Donbass. There was a big response, a large quantity of donations, much more than I could fit in my car. Back in Donbass now, I took everything I could this time, and will arrange transport for the rest, for distribution soon, to children’s homes here.

I’m also recharged after Crimea, back in the mood to do reportage from Donbass, and will do one or two more special reports from here, before the end of the year. However, for now, it’s almost certainly the case that the humanitarian help is of more help to Donbass than my reportage. 

Patrick Lancaster’s Donbass Humanitarian Appeal: An Update

In the last 18 months, American journalist Patrick Lancaster – @PLNewsToday – has been doing humanitarian work in Donbass. I’ve done a few videos about it:

Patrick has distributed over 65 tonnes of aid to the hardest hit areas of the warzone!! This, his most recent distribution, just the other day –

Patrick continues to do regular distributions!

You can donate via the link below or via Paypal to address helpvictimsukrainewar@gmail.com, to Sberbank Russia Card number 4276
8801 9017 1656 or via WesternUnion/MoneyGram to “Patrick John
Lancaster” in “Russia”.

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_donations&business=helpvictimsukrainewar%40gmail%2ecom&lc=US&currency_code=USD&bn=PP%2dDonationsBF%3abtn_donateCC_LG%2egif%3aNonHosted

Ukrainian Forces Open Fire on Humanitarian Aid Convoy

By Gleb Kornilov, Russian humanitarian aid worker – 

Humanitarian2Ukrainian forces opened fire on Russian humanitarian aid convoy ‘Relief Fund Novorossiya’. One member of the convoy was killed, one wounded, six captured.

Yesterday our convoy consisting of 3 vehicles arrived in the Shirokino region, with humanitarian aid. The load consisted of food, medicines, seeds for crops, clothes for civilians. There were also 20 bulletproof vests and helmets for the members of the people’s militia to reduce the fatalities they are sustaining there. Among the members of the crew was journalist Boris Borisovich, who had intended to film a report on civilian life in Shirokino.

For reasons which are unclear, the convoy left the planned route, and ended up arriving at positions of the Ukrainian military, 27km southwest of Donetsk. The Ukrainian forces opened fire. As a result of this, 1 person was killed, and the rest were taken into captivity. Among these, 1 was wounded.

HumanitarianA Ukrainian officer with the call-sign Captain Price has already written on his Twitter account “6 DPR separatists captured, 1 wounded, 1 killed”. However he didn’t say a word that the convoy was humanitarian. All the members of the humanitarian aid convoy had the relevant documentation, and the lead car was marked up with our symbol, and Moscow registration plates. Moreover, Captain Price confirmed that our convoy didn’t return fire. And in photos and videos the man killed is without a bulletproof vest, or any firearms. This seriously calls into question the legitimacy of the Ukrainians opening fire.

Humanitarian1The process of negotiations with the Ukrainian forces has already begun. Since yesterday evening we’ve been doing all possible to rescue our guys alive and well. The call-sign of the man killed was Doc. He’d done a lot of good work in the sphere of humanitarian aid… may he rest in peace. We are still working to ascertain the name of the wounded.

We’ll report further news as soon as we have it. It’s necessary to make this information public to help our guys.

P.S. But the main issue remains why they changed route, and fell into a trap.