Benjamin's Story

I started filming when I was taking my brother’s wife to the border, on the very first day of the war, because she is an English citizen who was visiting Ukraine.

People from the first days of the war began to look for safer places. Not knowing for certain where to go, just to stay alive. The line at the border was about 30 kilometers long. People stood all week and
were without food, water, shower, toilet. Children were crying, people were nervous, because it was scary, incomprehensible. They lost everything they had gained over the years. Volunteers from the village brought sandwiches, water, took women with children to wash themselves, spend the night, and the men stood in line. On the third day, so many people gathered at the border that they broke through the fence and began to run uncontrollably into Romanian territory. The fields were plowed along the gates. People ran across the plowed land with bags, animals. Everywhere dirt, screams, crying, animals fleeing. The border guards tried to stop the people, but they ran, fell, got up dirty, exhausted, and fled
to Romania in despair.

Then I began to take people out of the territory of the Kyiv region. At first, I did everything at my own expense. Filmed everything on video, sent to friends. Subsequently, people began to trust me and
helped in whatever way they could. They said: “Take it, you know where you need it, where you need to take it.” I drove. Do you know how scary it is to see when children have nothing to eat?

This will not be told on TV, but both the military in the trenches and the people in the occupied territories need medicine, food, and personal hygiene products.

Then there was Kharkiv, Nikolaev… To this day we go to most dangerous areas to help people. On March 10, I began to cooperate with the Ukraine Rescue Fund (URF) and personally with Alina and
Sergei Lubensky.

We evacuated animals. Nobody wants to deal with animals and old people. Do you know how many of these animals are left homeless? People did not know how to take them out, and some animals ran away. Elderly people who cannot walk or live on their own … They need someone to bring food, help to walk. They are alive, how can they be left under fire?

The first evacuation of animals was from Borispol, Kyiv region. The woman had a cattery of thoroughbred cats. A bomb flew right into her yard. We stayed overnight with her. In the morning all the cats were collected and taken away. But one cat was forgotten. She found out it only when she already crossed the Romanian boarder. I returned for the cat (more than 400 miles one way), and she was waiting for me in Romania.

I brought a humanitarian aid to Kyiv, found that lost cat, and took dogs, as you can see on the video. The animals were very nervous. You can’t explain to them that there is a war, that you are saving them.

In Kagarlyk, Kyiv region, there is a boarding school for special needs children. We knew that the Russians were also shooting at children’s institutions. So, the children were disbanded into caring families, and a humanitarian aid center was made in the house and food was cooked for everyone. I traveled around
the villages and collected what they could give: potatoes, carrots, apples, meat, to cook soups and porridge for these families with special need kids. Then in Chernivtsi someone gave me medicines to distribute.

At first, my friend went with me in another car. He’s also on video. He is originally from the Chernivtsi region. He has three children. We went to Kharkov, then we went to the Antonov aircraft plant, where the shelling began. A very scary shot. I don’t know how we survived. After that, my friend no longer traveled with me. Now there is another person with me. Also from the Chernivtsi region, Nikolai.

Once I had to go towards Chernigov to bring food. Everything did not fit in my car and I took a friend with me. He said that he was not afraid of anything and could go. We went to Kyiv for two days, although in peacetime it took 5-6 hours). There were tough checkpoints. The comrade saw these checkpoints, the KamAZ burned down after shelling, the exploded armored vehicles of the occupiers behind the checkpoints on the outskirts of Kyiv. Have you ever seen a person in a panic?

This is an out-of-control situation! The comrade was so terrified that he unloaded the car near the checkpoint and drove home. That is why I say that situations are different, and if you feel that you cannot go, then let others go. To make the road freer, so that the cargo is delivered to the right place.

Now all Ukrainians are very scared. Fools are not afraid. But I’m going to continue. And how can you not go when you give little children the basic things that you have every day, and their hands are shaking
because they don’t have it now. They need help, but one person can do little. We must unite for the sake of the people and victory.