France Press agency , Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2022 at 11:24 AM
The trunk was filled with food, techno music exploding: In a red Opel Astra, three young Ukrainians deliver humanitarian aid every day in the Kharkiv regions regularly targeted by Russian missiles.
The past two days have been fairly quiet in this large city in the northeast, the second largest in Ukraine. But this Tuesday, the Ukrainian cannon resounded like Russian artillery again.
The front line is located less than 5 kilometers from the northern and eastern regions of Kharkiv, while the Russian border is a few dozen kilometers away. Not enough to dissuade the three volunteers, Nazar, Alexic and Oleg.
In front of a kindergarten that has been converted into a food storage center, they load the trunk of their car with plastic bags each containing bread and canned goods.
“Our main goal is to feed children and the elderly, they need it most,” says Nazar Tishchenko, 24. “Unfortunately, people at the moment do not have money or work, and many of them cannot move to a ‘big store’.
An upside down hat, black tracksuit and shorts, and bright red sneakers, Nizar looks like Karim Benzema, with his petite throat, shaved head and black eyes from his height of 1.87 metres.
A soccer fan who loves to fight but not the police. He tattooed the number 13 on one and on the other side with a tattoo of 12, in other words in alphabetical order: ACAB (“All cops are bastards”, “All cops are bastards”).
He was born in Tyrnez, Russia, and has lived “all his life in the football fan movement, with nationalist men drenched in love for our country” Ukraine.
– Anti-bomb music –
A loaded car, a former post office trend that has become a meat-distributing humanitarian hub. They will exchange bread for chicken thighs.
At the wheel is Aleksic, 23, a skinny, slender, muscular cat, with blue eyes and a small lock on a shaven head. It was he who had the idea of delivery.
For two years he delivered bread to Kharkiv and Donbass, and then worked as a mechanic.
When the war broke out, he became a bread deliveryman again. Then he shut down his business. So he started turning himself in. “But I couldn’t do it on my own, so I asked Nizar to help me,” said the young man.
In front of the meat distribution place, more than a hundred people are lining up.
Chicken loading completed on the way to first delivery. The red Opel rotates. You can smoke in the cabin and the techno music will be in full swing.
“We can’t drive without music. If there’s bombing, we just turn up the volume. We’re tired of bombing. (Music) helps us relax, we’re not afraid,” confirms a long tattoo.
The northern and eastern regions of Ukraine’s second city – nearly 1.5 million inhabitants before the war – are an almost daily target of Russian missiles. The strikes are random and spaced out at any time of the day or night, and are sometimes fatal.
One day, at the time of the bombing, “all the shelters were closed,” says Nizar. “So we couldn’t hide. We lay on the ground and protected the civilians to save them,” he said.
– ‘Do the right thing’ –
The three volunteers arrived in front of a dilapidated house. Fifteen people, including small children, live there in several apartments.
We deliver bags, chat, play with children. Visiting them is also a respite, and a social bond.
“While I’m here doing this, I feel like I’m doing the right thing, I’m not useless, I understand that I can help people. I don’t feel happy, I’m just doing this knowing it’s right,” Alexiï explains.
A dark explosion occurs very soon.
Oksana Tarnushkav, one of the residents, jumps. Nazar reassures her. He explains that there is no danger: we can distinguish a shot from the Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense – as it were – from a Russian strike.
The 49-year-old woman welcomes the help of volunteers.
“Please, Mr. Putin, please stop. Please!” she said before begging in tears.
Delivery is over, we accepted, the red Opel leaves a new address.
At the end of the day, a Russian missile hit a building in those neighborhoods. Three people died.