6 March 2022
Good Day AlphaZettans,
I hope this message finds you well and healthy.
There has been a lot of news and social media coverage on the situation in Ukraine but too much of it is inaccurate, or incomplete.
I wanted to share with you from my Ukrainian family and local friends what I know to be true and is happening within my own family, what they have to deal with every day, and what is happening to our hometown.
The 12th day has begun and Ukraine is standing strong, successfully defending all major cities including Kharkiv. So far Kharkiv has been the worst affected as a result of continued indiscriminate bombing of the city with mines, shells, all sorts of missiles and rockets including cruise and ballistic missiles. It is causing a massive humanitarian crisis with many women, children and elderly people trying to leave the city.
Nevertheless the spirit of the Ukrainian Army and Territorial Defence Forces is super high so Ukraine is not giving in or giving up.
The Ukraine government has asked for support from NATO with appropriate modern weaponry but the main and most important demand from NATO is to close the sky over Ukraine to protect civilians from bombarding. This demand is not yet being considered, and I don’t know if it will be.
My wife’s parents, Boris and Tamara left Kharkiv on March 3 and headed to Lviv which is located in the western part of Ukraine near Poland. I thought the 24 hour trip from Kharkiv to Kyiv was the worst part, with women, children, the frail and elderly being confined to any space to sit, mostly on the floor. But it got worse, in attempting to cross the border. Boris and Tamara’s car became stuck in the gridlock many kilometres long. So, in their late 70’s, they walked the last part.
I still don’t comprehend how a fragile 77 year old man and 76 year old woman walked a full 8 kilometres at night, in subzero temperatures after an entire day on the train, without food.
They crossed the border after a 5 hour walk, and are now in a decent hotel in Krakow waiting until the visa is finalised and they can fly over to Sydney. We have secured tickets and a safe passage for them. Their flights are booked for mid March. Thank God they are going to be safe, unlike many in my home country.
So many of you have asked how you can help. There are ways you can support Ukraine:
Thank you for your support.
Technical Lead, Data & Analytics
AlphaZetta member and consultant to Volt Bank