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Kharkiv, 15th & 16th of August 2022

Teleport Quick Reaction in cooperation with Road to Ukraine and Mission Ukraine. 

After the successful delivery of medical aid to Mikolaiv, the cooperation between Teleport and Mission Ukraine persisted, and next on the list would be a delivery to Kharkiv. Before that, to prepare the onboarding with the AidSupply system of Mission Ukraine’s warehouse in Medyka, Poland, I headed there. By chance I met Arthur of Road to Ukraine there, who mentioned that he also has a load of aid that needs to head to Kharkiv. 

Road to Ukraine has a huge fleet of vehicles, including a Mercedes Benz Luton, which can transport up to 2 tons. Arthur’s van was loaded for delivery the next day and Nathan of Mission Ukraine and I set off towards Kharkiv on the 14th of August 2022 from Lviv, stopping in Kyiv for the night.  

We arrived in Kharkiv shortly before curfew on the 15th, and after a beer in a basement bar (very useful) right next to the AirBnB, we checked in. The plan was to get some good rest before we went to drop off the supplies the next day, but that turned out harder than expected…

I hopped on a call with a German friend, who’s also in non-profit software development. During the call, you could hear the artillery going off constantly. At one point incoming shelling, which we later determined to have hit something around 1km away from us with the help of the LiveUAMap, was so loud that the walls started shaking and we hid in the bathroom for a while…

After that we tried going to sleep, and surprisingly enough it went quite for a little bit, so we could fall asleep…

Unloading aid at a synagogue in central Kharkiv.

At 2:30 in the morning I was suddenly awoken. While not sure what it was, I could only guess that it must have been another explosion. To clarify the situation, the place we were staying at was on the 7th floor of the building, the TOP floor. I was wondering why Nathan called dibs on the couch once we got there, but after finding out that the only other bed was upstairs right beneath the roof it all made sense. I was sleeping under a window, out of which I could only see black, but for a split second the whole sky lit up in white. 

I immediately called out to Nathan, who must’ve been awoken by the first explosion as well, because he responded with a “what?” almost instantly. 

The next second, an explosion so loud it almost broke the windows occurred. I have heard loud noises before, car crashes, fireworks going off in garages, that kind of thing. But this was something else. The reality of the situation entered my sleep deprived mind so quickly, it felt almost like a drug. I grabbed my vest and ran down the stairs, and me and Nathan once again hid in the bathroom for a while. 

The sirens in Kharkiv always went on right after a strike, since there’s no early warning systems for artillery shells, so once they stopped somewhat 10 minutes later, we went back to sleep.

Water being offloaded for the residents of the metro in eastern Kharkiv. Many people reside there in fear of getting shelled in their home. 

Nathan loading the first few pallets of supplies into the Road to Ukraine Luton. I couldn’t help him, I was in the alcove filming…

The next morning went as planned. We went to a synagogue in central Kharkiv, where a friend of Mission Ukraine, Anton, was waiting for us. Anton has been a beneficiary of the deliveries by Mission Ukraine in the past, and after unloading what we had in the Luton, he helped us acquire more aid in a mall nearby.  

The way that Mission Ukraine is handling these so called shop & drops is very interesting. Humanitarian aid from foreign countries is always appreciated, but it is not a very well known fact that the supply chains in Ukraine are almost perfectly restored. Which means that most aid in the form of simple consumables can be acquired there.  This comes with a lot of upsides, one being the amount of gas that can be saved on international logistics. Our partner AidSupply is also a big ambassador of this approach in aid distribution, since it also strengthens the Ukrainian economy. 

So what we did was fill the entire Luton up with essentials. Mainly flour, sunflower oil, some vegetables like potatoes, carrots and onions, women hygiene articles, shampoo, soap and more. The store workers were really helpful, counting out items so we had the exact number, packing them up and helping us getting it loaded on pallets. 

During our shopping tour, I asked a few of them how long they have been in Kharkiv for. Surprisingly, all of them have stayed there since before February 24th. I can only imagine the carnage that happened in the first couple of weeks, but they stayed anyway. Respect. 

We immediately split all aid in 5 equal parts for all the different locations that were in need of support, that makes it easier when unloading later. 

This video is not complete. We also filled all the gaps with 1,5l water bottles, a full pallet of it.  



Our first drop was at the Kharkiv metro station. There, around 2000 people live in fear of becoming victims of the heavy shelling that happens daily. 

Right after, we were sent a drop pin, where we should drop off some supplies with a soldier. The route we got took us straight towards the front line, and at the 3rd checkpoint we were yelled at to get to cover. Turns out they were getting artillery fired upon them just as we arrived, so we ran into the bunker and spent some time with the soldiers there. 

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