Ukraine: Driving civilians out of the danger zone

Evacuation from Sloviansk to Dnipro. OCHA..

Ukraine | 2022 | CBPF

12 Jul 2022

By Saviano Abreu and Viktoriya Hrubas, in Ukraine

Andrii, a driver with the Ukrainian NGO Proliska, explains how he navigates tremendous challenges to evacuate people from areas under constant bombardment.

Donetska and Luhanska, Ukraine. Since the invasion of Ukraine began almost five months ago, Andrii and his colleagues from the Ukrainian NGO Proliska have put their lives on the line to bring a glimmer of hope to people caught up in the fighting in the east.

Under the constant threat of shelling and air strikes, Andrii risks his life to drive a minibus through mined roads and over destroyed bridges to evacuate people from the heavily affected Donetska and Luhanska oblasts.

He told us that he encounters danger every time he embarks on an evacuation mission. “Often, I have to stop because of shelling and wait on the road for an hour or two before it becomes quieter, and then I can drive again,” he explained.

On some occasions, shelling starts just as people are about to board the bus.

“It happened to us in Siversk, Donetska oblast, at the beginning of May,” said Andrii. “We had to hide and wait to be able to proceed. That day a residential building was hit, and when we went out of the basement of the school many people realized that they no longer had a place to go. Some came with us the same day.”

Despite these challenges, Andrii and other drivers from Proliska have helped 5,300 civilians caught up in the fighting in the east to evacuate to safer areas.

This life-saving work is funded by the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund, thanks to our donors’ support.

Proliska’s remarkable work provides a clear picture of how this war is not only making life unbearable for millions of people but also imposing enormous obstacles for those trying to help them. People in Ukraine have now endured almost five months of a ferocious war, with no guarantees of being able to safely leave areas under constant attack. They are often without food, water, medical care, power or gas to cook or heat their homes.

The United Nations is tirelessly engaging at the highest levels with parties to the conflict to guarantee safe passage for people who want to leave and for humanitarians to deliver the assistance that people in Ukraine desperately need.

We will continue to do this work and explore all options to make sure that people whose lives are at stake can receive the help they need to survive.

More information on the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund: