The situation in Ukraine is dramatic after the Russian attack. Many people are afraid, are fighting for the future of their country or are fleeing. But even in these times there is news that gives hope. FOCUS Online gives a precise overview of these reports.
According to Federal Minister of Transport Volker Wissing, transports by rail with the help of Deutsche Bahn have started to support grain exports from the Ukraine. The goods subsidiary DB Cargo is in the process of enabling a “rail bridge” to be able to transport large quantities of agricultural products to ports on the North Sea and the Adriatic, said the FDP politician on Tuesday in Berlin. The help has begun, DB Cargo is already driving on behalf of private grain exporters from Ukraine. Railway boss Richard Lutz spoke of two to three trains a day from the Ukraine via Poland and the corresponding terminals to Western Europe.
The background is that the export of grain via the seaports of Ukraine has come to a standstill because of the Russian war against the country. This threatens deliveries to North Africa and Asia in particular, and problems with the food supply are feared. As EU Transport Commissioner Adina Valean recently explained, 20 million tons of grain urgently need to leave Ukraine. The Commission had presented an action plan to bring out exports via so-called “solidarity lanes” overland.
Wissing spoke to Valean in Berlin and promised support for the action plan – including for planned temporary agreements with Ukraine and neighboring Moldova for easier access for freight transporters to the EU market. US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg also attended the meeting at Berlin Central Station.
Bahn boss Lutz said that the support of the Commission is important so that the European railways can make optimal use of scarce local capacities. If so far 90 percent of the grain has been exported via the seaports, you will reach capacity limits on the rails. “But despite everything, we have to try to transport as much as possible out of Ukraine.”
Tatjana Garcia (25) and her half-sister Angelika Batiai (24) can hug again after almost 20 years. The two women lived in different countries for years – and are now reunited because of the Ukraine war.
As the “Guardian” reports, both grew up in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv with their single mother. But after a few years, the half-siblings are separated. Angelika, then five years old, moves in with an aunt. Tatjana is handed over to state care – because her aunt’s financial circumstances were not sufficient to feed both girls.
Tatjana is eventually adopted by a Spanish family. In 2019, Angelika found a profile on Facebook – it was her half-sister’s. Both want to see each other, 2300 kilometers lie between them. But then comes Corona. When Putin’s tanks roll in February 2022, Tatjana calls her sister. “I told her there’s going to be a war now. So I asked them to pack up and flee.”
Escape is complicated. But after several days, Angelika gets off the plane. “I couldn’t believe it when I saw her again. I’ve often wondered what that moment would be like. But in the end it was just bewilderment,” Tatjana is quoted as saying in the Guardian.
Solomiyka, a young girl, has caused a stir in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro. She took a crate, her backpack and a poster to the city’s main street and played the flute to raise money. This is intended to benefit Ukrainian soldiers and be used to buy bulletproof vests.
A video shows people stopping and donating. Some give the young girl friendly waves as they leave. Others even take photos to capture Solomiyka’s impressive effort.
In a clinic in Przemysl, Poland, veterinarians and nurses treat sick and injured animals from Ukraine. The physiotherapist carefully lifts a small brown dog onto the treadmill. Then she slowly lowers the machine into a basin of warm water and turns it on. Vira, the dog, starts walking – on all four paws. “You’re doing well!” Praises veterinarian Jakub Kotowicz and gives Vira a treat. That she can move her hind legs at all is a small miracle.
“Vira comes from the Donbass in eastern Ukraine, and there is a bullet in her backbone,” explains the Polish veterinarian, pointing to a bright, round spot on the X-ray image. The projectile hit the animal two or three years ago, he estimates. Even then, the Donbass was already a combat zone. A nerve is damaged, an operation too risky. Now physiotherapy is supposed to get the bitch back on her feet.
Since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, veterinarians, physiotherapists and nurses have increasingly been treating sick and injured animals from the neighboring country that have suddenly become uncared for.
Many Ukrainians leave their dogs and cats behind when they flee. Some roam the streets, others end up in overcrowded animal sanctuaries. Volunteers rescue them and bring them to Poland. Around 900 animals have been treated in the Ada veterinary clinic in Przemysl since the outbreak of war. Most of them find a new home with animal lovers in Germany or Poland.
A Ukrainian woman who fled from the hard-fought Kharkiv gave birth to twins in Bochum – two healthy boys. The 24-year-old had made a long and arduous flight to enable her children to have a safe birth, the Catholic Clinic in Bochum reported on Tuesday. She fled about 2,400 kilometers from the hail of bombs in the eastern Ukrainian city. The birth in St. Elisabeth Hospital was uncomplicated.
“We are all very happy that the mother and children are doing well and that we were able to offer them a little home and security in the bad times that Ukraine is currently going through,” said the chief physician of gynecology Peter Kern. He had brought the twins into the world. The young mother was also accompanied by another doctor. When the 24-year-old can return to her homeland with her little sons is open. The hospital has already offered her help.
Six weeks after the start of the Russian war of aggression, the singing of a three-year-old refugee boy lifts the spirits in Ukraine. “And we’re cheering up our glorious Ukraine – hey, hey – up!l,” sings Leon, closing the round of Ukrainian stars for a charity concert in a spot.
At the beginning of the war, the little blond boy had to flee from Irpin near Kyiv with his brother Elwin and father Olexander, as reported by the Obosrewatel news site. The family found shelter in the western Ukrainian region of Khmelnytskyi. There the little one heard the singer of the well-known band Boombox, Andriy Khlyvnyuk, starting the song of the “Red Snowball Berry” – and imitated it.
The 42-year-old smashed the song with an assault rifle in front of St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev on the fourth day of the war. A video of the insert quickly went viral. The song dates back to World War I, when Ukrainian volunteers fought on the Austro-Hungarian side against Russia.
Father Olexander recorded the singing Leon for the family archive. But when Khlyvnyuk was injured in the face by shrapnel and was taken to the hospital, Olexander decided to support him with the recording. The released video became a hit. In the meantime, it is also used on uniform television, and the whole country is happy about the brave little boy during these difficult times.
Jamie Hughes, from the Welsh town of Wrexham, has bought a £100,000 three-bedroom house for a Ukrainian refugee family. The BBC reports. Maria and her sons, aged 10, 12 and 14, hope to move in by April 10 if their visas are confirmed in time.
Hughes said he decided to help where he could because it was “absolutely devastating to see millions of people fleeing,” according to the report. He originally considered converting an extension to his own home to make the space available to a refugee family. But he said it took about two years, was too cramped and lacked privacy.
So he looked at some vacant houses, “and I made an offer and bought one.” Maria said she couldn’t believe it and told Hughes he was “so nice.”
Maria and her sons are currently still in western Ukraine but are on their way to a refugee camp in Poland. From there they can register as refugees and enter the UK.
Julie Simkins, a family friend, has helped organize preparations for the home through a Facebook group. She said the fellowship was “absolutely amazing.” Thanks to the sofas, beds, washing machines and refrigerators that were donated, we are now able to furnish the entire house,” she said.
In the Cherson region, the Ukrainian Halyna is celebrating her 95th birthday – while her homeland is under fire. So that the 95-year-old is not alone on her birthday, a volunteer from the Ukrainian Red Cross made her way to Halyna. Despite the dangerous situation on the roads and other difficulties, the volunteer arrived safely at Halyna and was able to personally congratulate her on her birthday.
Bulletproof vest instead of iPhone: In the Ukraine, a seven-year-old girl gave her savings to buy a protective vest for a soldier. This was reported by the Ukrainian TV channel 1 1 in a report broadcast on Monday. The girl from the town of Kropyvnitskyj in the central Ukrainian region of Kirovohrad almost had the sum for the smartphone when the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. She then suggested to her mother that she empty her piggy bank to help the soldiers.
“I just decided to give the money so that the war would be over quickly,” says the girl in the post. But since her savings were not quite enough, she still sold flowers and drawings on the street. Members of the volunteer association, who finally bought the protective vest, were so impressed by the girl’s kindness that they fulfilled his dream – and gave the child an iPhone.
On March 10, the eleven-year-old boy Dobrynia fled the war with his mother from the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. His father and grandfather stayed behind. And the boy’s trumpet was left behind. “He played in a youth orchestra and at the conservatory. Music was his life,” said the mother, according to a report by “Bild”.
In Germany, the boy and his mother were taken in by the Frankfurt café owner Peter Biberfield. Feeling sorry for Dobrynia, he launched an appeal on Facebook to get the boy a trumpet. A few days later, there was a pleasant surprise: when Biberfield opened his café on Thursday, there was an instrument case in front of the door. He passed the trumpet to Dobrynia.
He started playing. A little hesitant at first, but then more confident again. On the banks of Nice on the Main he played songs by Louis Armstrong and the love song “Bésame mucho”. The audience present applauded. “He can forget the war with the trumpet,” said mother Ira to “Bild”.
A few minutes of normality: In the middle of the war, Ukrainian soldiers pick up instruments and give a small concert in the courtyard of a residential building in the capital Kyiv. Videos posted on social media show soldiers lined up playing and singing the national anthem while listeners dance, sing along and wave Ukrainian flags.
More positive news about the Ukraine war can be found here
More recent news
According to Ukrainian sources, Russia has started a major offensive in the east of the country. Numerous air raids were reported. In a steel works in Mariupol, where numerous civilians are holed up, the situation continues to deteriorate. In the case of Kharkiv, on the other hand, the Ukrainian army was able to liberate other places. You can find all the news about the attack on Ukraine in the ticker.
The war in Ukraine is not going according to plan for the Russian army. Most recently, even the Kremlin spokesman spoke of “significant losses”. Ex-General Mick Ryan explains how well the Russians are adapting to the changing wartime situation.