The TV-documentary about the Ukrainian humanitarian crisis will be screened on Estonian National Television next fall. The team, author Stas Kuznetsov, director Madli Lääne and cinematographer Peep Plakso followed the volunteers of the local non-profit organization Vostok SOS on their humanitarian trip to Lugansk Oblast last July.
The village of Troitskoye, located exactly on the border of the Oblasts of Lugansk and Donetsk, has been one of the most affected places during the armed conflict between the Ukraine’s regular forces and the separatists. Most of the attacks on the village occurred in January 2015: the “Grad” rockets did not spare residential buildings nor office buildings, not even the 19th century church. The atmosphere in Troitskoye is still dominated by feeling of with sadness and anxiety. The villagers, standing under the scorching sun and hoping to get a humanitarian aid package, do not hide their tears. “You, Europeans, you live peacefully. We here just try to survive.”
In July, hundreds of residents of frontline villages and towns received food packages, donations collected in Estonia. These food packages consisted, among other things, basic food products, such as cereals, vegetable oil, canned food and pasta. According to Ukrainian volunteers this amount of food may last for a couple of months. Meanwhile the number of internally displaced war refugees has increased notably, and deserted villages are cut off from the mainland.
The local non-profit organization Vostok SOS assists the delivery of humanitarian aid to the most remote villages and towns in East Ukraine. Konstantin Reutski, the head of the organization says: “the local people have very few means of support. There are problems getting even the most elementary products, including the most vital goods and food.”
According to the recent reports of the military conflict in the East Ukraine, more than million people have been forced to leave their homes. Those who are still living in close proximity to the front line have to deal with shootings almost every night. In many villages the blackouts are the daily routine, and all the production has been stopped.