Bonn/Ukraine · The medical aid transport from Bonn has delivered its goods. The convoy consisted of 18 vehicles and was supported by the GA Christmas Light and the University Hospital, among others. The next mission is already being planned.
The last three days were very exhausting for Vitaliy Krusch and his helpers. Time and again, traffic jams slowed down the convoy of 18 vehicles. At times, they were only able to travel at a snail's pace from Germany towards the Polish border. Since Monday, however, the helpers are back in the Rhineland, healthy and unharmed. "We are tired and worn out, but we are infinitely happy to have reached our destination safely," says Krusch, who was born in Ukraine and has now lived in Bonn for 16 years.
For the second time since the outbreak of the war, the employee of a large energy company had accompanied an aid transport to the Ukrainian border to bring medicine, medical equipment as well as blankets and clothing to the people in the bombed cities. This time, Krusch led a convoy with a total of 18 vehicles, including three ambulances and an emergency medical vehicle from Bonn. On board they had about 50 different preparations for the first aid of the injured and wounded.
The GA's Christmas light campaign supported the delivery of donations
This humanitarian aid was made possible by a joint campaign: in addition to the Bonn University Hospital and the Christmas Light campaign of the General-Anzeiger, UN Refugee Aid supported the project with 25,000 Euro as well as the associations "Aktion Würde und Gerechtigkeit" and "Stützpfeiler".
"The Polish authorities have meanwhile tightened border controls with Ukraine. Nevertheless, we were always met with friendliness and a great deal of help," says Krusch, tired but satisfied after an exhausting night tour. One of them is that the drivers were not allowed to pass with a German identity card, as they were until a few days ago. Instead, they now have to identify themselves with a passport.
Not all had the right ID with them
But not all of them had the appropriate document with them. This meant that the work was spread over a few shoulders. "We parked the cars on a grassy strip between Poland and Ukraine and loaded the entire load onto other vehicles," the young father recounts. In "no man's land", the cargo was finally moved. Those who had the necessary ID with them drove back and forth several times to get the Ukrainians to stow the cargo in their vehicles on the other side of their border. "Nevertheless, everything went like clockwork," Krusch said looking back on the exhausting days.
This was also possible because his father Sergii Kasian, district administrator of the town of Sokal in the Lviv region, had obtained all the necessary papers and documents in advance. "He was already waiting for us at the crossing point. Thanks to his support, the whole operation went smoothly," adds the man from Bonn.
On the other side of the border, all the emergency vehicles that were to remain permanently in Ukraine were taken over by the local medical staff according to a detailed time and safety concept. The 20 helpers then returned to North Rhine-Westphalia in the other transport vehicles.
The next transport is being planned
Despite such successes, Vitaliy Krusch worries a lot about his family every day. His father will not leave Ukraine under any circumstances. Neither will some of his cousins and their children. He was only able to take his grandmother with him on one of his first relief trips. "She now lives in a nursing home in Bad Godesberg. I am glad that at least she is safe," he says.
Even though the helpers are first recovering from the strain of the past days after their arrival, Krusch is already planning the next aid transport from Bonn in the direction of Lviv. Wolfgang Holzgreve, head of the Bonn university hospital, has already contacted a pharmaceutical company to organise further deliveries of medicine for the people in the war zones. Krusch will not be sitting in the driver's cab of a transporter then, however. "But I will, of course, take over and steer the complete organisation," he promises. As he will become a father for the second time in the next few days, he will stay in Bonn to be here with his wife and elder daughter. (Original text: Gabriele Immenkeppel / Translation: Mareike Graepel)