UKRAINE — HUMANITARIAN AID & SAVING LIVES

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Internationally considered an act of aggression, the invasion has triggered Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II, with more than 5 million Ukrainians leaving the country and a quarter of the 44 million population displaced.

AAs the Russian troops advanced and started their scorched earth policy it was only then apparent to the international community. Waking up to the horrific images and atrocities of crimes against humanity. It all woke us up to the holy terror being committed by Russian soldiers and Putin’s band of thugs.

I immediately picked up the phone and called my friend Janis Martins Skuja in Riga, Latvia. For the people of the Baltic States, they have experienced first hand the brutality of Russia. All three countries Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia gained their independence in 1991 and now are a part of the European Union and NATO. Janis told me that convoys were driving back not fast enough from Latvia everyday bringing humanitarian aid assistance to Ukraine. I asked Janis if I could offer any help and that I was willing to come to Latvia and bring aid into Ukraine if the logistics could be organized. So, after my trip to Syria and Lebanon I flew back to NYC and within a couple of weeks on April 4th I flew to Riga.

Initially, I met with Members of Parliament of Riga and the Riga City Council. No doubt the topic of discussion was the war in Ukraine and the overwhelming refugee crisis that is currently unfolding across Europe. Estimated at 5 million refugees with 400,000 alone just in Warsaw and 12+ million internally displaced throughout Ukraine. Numbers not seen since WW2 and at this juncture surpassing even that in the short time of 50 days.

Vincent Lyn CEO at We Can Save Children & Deputy Ambassador of International Human Rights Commission

Thank you for writing this, Alex Pryrodny.

“Anyone who says things like "let's hope for peace for Ukraine" – I understand you might be saying it with best of intentions, but please understand that many Ukrainians will find this phrasing insensitive or even insulting. As the Supreme commander of the Ukrainian Army Valeriy Zaluzhny recently said: "We needed peace yesterday. Today we require victory." What does "peace" mean to a victim of genocide? Peace without justice for the thousands murdered civilians in Bucha, Mariupol, Odesa, Vinnytsia and other cities big and small? What about roughly 2 million Ukrainians forcibly relocated to remote regions of Russia including over 200 000 children – just leave them to their fate? What about several millions more still living in the roughly 20% of Ukrainian territory that's occupied that are already starting to be subjected to Russia's Orwellian program of "reeducation" and cultural erasure – forget them too? What about the murderers, torturers, rapists, propagandists and the evil masterminds who continue to give the orders – let them escape accountability and walk among us? Would you feel safe? The key point is that simply freezing the conflict, even if it was possible, will only give Russia time to regroup and renew their aggression – not only against Ukraine but the rest of the Western world as well. That's just the reality and anyone telling you otherwise is either a fool or on the Russian payroll – you only need to listen to the Russian leaders themselves or turn on their prime-time TV to understand they are not interested in any kinds of "off-ramps," in fact they are full of anger and grievance at the whole world and desire for revenge against anyone who dared to stand up to them. As it was during the WWII, at some point "peace" stops being an option; only victory – complete, decisive, ensuring that the aggressor will never again be able to terrorize peaceful people of the world – will stop the carnage. Simply put, without victory, there will be no peace.”

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Victoria 41 with 7 month-old son Timur and 11-year-old son Arseny seen resting from exhaustion having traveled for 3 days escaping their city of Kherson now under Russian occupation.

Parliament of the Republic of Latvia meeting with Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee Rihards Kols

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Here with Ulvis Noviks head of Tavi Draugi (Your Friends) NGO and We Can Save Children signed declaration in solidarity to bring humanitarian aid to Ukraine

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Here with Team Member Janis Martins Skuja and Member of LVIV City Council Andriyan Hutnyk at the Humanitarian Aid Sorting Center in Sokilnyky, Lviv Oblast, Ukraine

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Warsaw at the greeting center for the refugees of Ukraine. We were able to get a baby basket for seven month old Timur

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With Deputy Mayor of Kyiv and former Chief of the Main Division of National Police in Kyiv Andrew Kryschenko

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Father Andrii dropping off his family with us, wife Alyona and two sons Maksym 13 and Makar 8 from their city Lutsk in North Western Ukraine, Taking them to Riga Latvia.