The situation in Ukraine today, following the Russian invasion on February 24, ordered and executed by Vladimir Putin, is nowComplicating matters is the passage of time after attacks and bombings on cities across the country.
When times are difficult, uncertain, or restless, even small gestures can help to provide support for those in need. Over the course of these weeks, people from cities like Madrid, London or Tokyo have taken to streets to help others. Protest against war and demand an end to conflict In light of the shortage of supplies in Ukraine, the international community sends humanitarian aid.
A group of police officers from Spain went a step further, leaving “on their own initiative” in a convoy to Poland, carrying material, medicine and food, among others, that would go to the most disadvantaged in Ukraine. “We have all flipped. It has been hard, because they were several days without resting at all, but it has been worth it, ”explains Jesús González, deputy inspector of the Madrid Police, to LA RAZÓN.
This was Friday, March 18, at seven in the AM in Madrid. They only stopped in Irun for a quick bite to eat, and then continued on to Warsaw to refill the gas tank. Initially, three of them were going to go. However, eight police officers from Madrid and Granada, as well as the Canary Islands, ended up going.
They traveled 3,500 km before arriving in Poland on Saturday 19th, where they met with a trusted doctor. This was through colleagues at Frontex. “He was a man who had strategic planning to be able to take them through safe channels, especially with Poles and Ukrainians he trusted,” says Jesús, who emphasizes the dangers of the black market. “We feared that with the crisis,The black market took advantage of this and stole everything they could. They are highly-demanded materials and products. In this way, if we went, we made sure that everything we donated would arrive.”
The police officer said that the officers were able transport all the items in eight vehicles, whether they rented them or owned them. However, they ran into problems renting because it made the task more difficult. However, two vans that were very necessary to load the medicines and food, thanks, were from “people from Puertollano who helped us and got involved with us”, Both were provided by them. “These majísimos from La Mancha put their cargo van at our disposal, and another Transit van. They left us plenty of time to do other things. The only thing they asked us in return was that we let them come with us, and of course, how were we going to say no?” affirms Jesús.
After loading the material they brought, they took a family of five to Warsaw. Five refugees joined us and we went toMedyka, border city between Ukraine and Poland. They then took in 38 more refugees and continued their journey to GliwiceTwo more were picked up by them. These altruistic police officers brought 45 Ukrainians to Spain.. Children, young people, adults… Children, young people and adults have had to flee their country because of a war that was intensified by Russia’s presence for a month. However, it has been in effect in the East since 2014.
One family brought their child with Down syndrome to the country via this convoy was among those who arrived. Another family with seven members was also part of the convoy, but due to space constraints, had to split. The mother and four children were taken by police to be reunited with their father. “Some Andalusians met them at a gas station, who were just like us and wanted to help others altruistically.” We told them the story, and we got them in touch with the remaining family members. They were able to pursue them. Even though the family had traveled separately, they were able to meet at a Jerez station. “It was something quite emotional,” Jesús celebrates.
Due to some refugees’ health, the convoy split at the French-German border. Some of them arrived in Getafe quickly in the early morning hours of Monday and Tuesday. There they were given to their family members or foster parents. Others stayed that night in Irun where they would “rent a hotel to accommodate the rest of Ukrainens.” The next morning, some were put on a bus bound for Santander, others taken to other destinations such as Berzosa del Lozoya or Bailén. They also reached destinations such as Malaga, Móstoles or Alcorcón, and in the case of one family, they were put on a train in Madrid on their way to Alicante.
All of their adventures came to an abrupt halt on Tuesday, at 10:30 p.m. In total, they spent more than eighty five hours preparing a proposal that would save the lives many Ukrainians. Jesús had already been to places like Iraq or Afghanistan, where he provided humanitarian aid, and above all, he knew first-hand human pain and the need for support in such complicated situations. He tells us, “It was necessary.”