We’re Sending Volunteers to Ukraine

April 9th, 2023 - by John Reuwer / World BEYOND War

Zaporizhzhia Travel Report Day 2
John Reuwer / World BEYOND War

Fellow Volunteers and Friends,

KYIV (April 7, 2023) — After a long day planning at the Warsaw airport hotel yesterday, we bussed, then walked to the West Warsaw terminal to catch a bus to Kyiv. This section of Warsaw is very plain, having been built from the ruins of WW2, but people were friendly and helpful.

Catching a snack at a cafe, a group of German high school students, who had visited peers in Lublin, Poland, caught site of my World BEYOND War shirt and asked about our project. They were fascinated by our answers to lots of questions and took pictures to check our webpage on their way home.

We passed some interesting war propaganda along the way, reinforcing the old notion that weapons mean freedom and safety.

A LONG overnight Flixbus ride took us through Polish towns that had excellent roads and infrastructure. The northern route through Ukraine (not far from the Belarusian border) was extremely flat, wet, and wooded. We saw little sign of the war except at intersections and checkpoints. Passport checks on both sides of the border took almost two hours.

Kyiv surprised me as being as vibrant and busy as it was in October. There is only slightly more military presence and an 8-mile ride through the city displayed little obvious war damage. No one seemed uptight about the prior bombardments and told us there had been no attacks for a week.

During the bus ride, we engaged with several lovely Ukrainians who held the view that the only good end to this war was the defeat and punishment of Russia. In the face of their skepticism, we practiced our best communication skills describing nonviolent actions as an alternative, so they thanked us for our work as we parted.

We arrived in Kyiv rather weary and took a subway ride and walk to the Hotel Rus, where we rested, ate at a Georgian restaurant, and met with Yurii who is always an inspiration in his unwavering stand for peace under the toughest of circumstances.

He helped us talk to our contact in Marhanets. It seems that the logistics there have not been planned to our comfort level as yet, delaying the confirmation of that part of our itinerary. We have decided to regroup and meet again tomorrow to see if those logistics can be confirmed, or if we will adjust to spend more time in Zaporizhzhia city, Dnipro, and other areas.

Thank you for your continued love and support.

John and the WBW Team