Polish resident of Freiburg, Renata Cudré-Mauroux managed the farm to reach kyiv last week to bring equipment. 5000 kilometers back and forth. “They are missing everything!” she moans.
You should have the courage to take that journey to war. Part of Freiburg, on Friday 18 March, to reach Kyiv, Renata Cudré-Mauroux and a chauffeur took a 5,000-kilometer tour in one week. Of Polish origin, Renata Cudré-Mauroux learned Russian in school and also speaks Ukrainian. After crossing Poland, she was given a passport to enter Ukraine in the direction of Kiev, 600 kilometers further. Few foreigners can still enter the country.
“As soon as you cross the border, she says, road control is quite stressful and subject to a very strict procedure, which you must absolutely respect to avoid being arrested. The law of war is in force, every misinterpreted gesture can be fatal. When approaching Kiev, take very secondary routes, not motorways, not along main roads ”.
Guided by a “volunteer”
This is not the first time she has visited Ukraine since the events of 2014 and the crisis in Donbass. She is well acquainted with what is known in Ukraine as “volunteers”, who partially supplement the regular army. One of them served as his guide this time. She walked without fear of danger: “I did not think about what I had decided to go. The situation is risky, of course, there may be unforeseen events, ambush. Everything can change from hour to hour and each district now has its own rules ”.
“It’s dark everywhere”
His great fear was running out of fuel in the middle of nowhere: “Villages are few, people are afraid. It is dark everywhere, the roads are extremely bad. Instead of a Ukrainian patrol, I could meet Russians and disappear with my two traveling companions. It was absolutely necessary to avoid contact with the Russian forces. Even after a short stop in a village, the police arrived quickly. That’s understandable, but we could not have a quiet night. Traveling like this is long and painful.
The first wave of emigration passed
She first notices that the first wave of emigration is behind: “I saw very few refugees at the border. So did those who wanted to leave. The others stayed to resist. But there could be another emigration if the Russian army intensifies its fighting in the west. When you enter Ukraine, you can still find some food in the shops, but the further east you go, even for gasoline, everything is complicated, they lack everything.
In recent weeks, she has been collecting medicines in Switzerland, baby items and all sorts of equipment to be able to transport them there. His bus managed to reach the military hospital in Kiev in the middle of last week, which thwarted the Russian presence around the capital: “We are the first to arrive here from Switzerland. The hardest thing was to see that the hospital in Kiev has “very few resources. It was difficult to see volunteers crying because they can not reach the most needy in the front line, especially in the east and southeast. It is difficult to cross the Dnieper River. The bridges are destroyed or bombed”.
Survive through the night
“People are missing everything here,” she repeats, but not necessarily what we believe in. They build bulletproof vests from sheet metal. Above all, they need medicine, kevlar substance or small fuels. They do many things themselves. What they want above all is to fight, even if they are poorly equipped. They have no gloves, no sleeping bags … In fact, they need everything that can enable them to survive the night ”.
“Even with bare hands”
On Friday, March 25, she returned because she had to resume her work in Switzerland. She has long understood what is happening there: “The propaganda campaign started years ago, in Russia, with Vladimir Putin as a strong man and the most powerful army in the world. But in reality, apart from certain things, it is an outdated and poorly maintained army, partly due to corruption. Then Russia triggered young recruits in Ukraine who believed that on the left bank of the Dnieper there would be no resistance. But the Ukrainians decided to fight, even with a little, even with their bare hands … “
She also knows that the 18-year-old conscripts who were sent to the front line were highly conditioned: “Since World War II, there has been an occupation in Russia, namely to fight the Nazis. In fact, anything that does not correspond to a particular Russian world is called a Nazi. They grew up on this idea. But on earth, they can realize that in Ukraine this is not the case ”.
During another stay, near Mariupol, she rubbed shoulders with fighters from the Azov regiment and the Aratta battalion, whom the Russians call “Nazis”: “They are the most dedicated and intrepid warriors, which is why Putin was so fierce city, he wants to take his revenge.Unlike the Azov regiment, Aratta is not part of the Ukrainian army and the warriors are forced to equip themselves and survive thanks to civilian volunteers.Contrary to what Russian propaganda says about these entities can all serve under their flag ”.
A “mosaic” on the front line
She also notes that this war is part of the continuation of the conflicts in Chechnya and Georgia: “On the front lines, there are Chechens from Kadyrov who are fighting for Putin and other Chechens who are fighting for Ukraine. The same with the Georgians. It is an incredible mosaic … Everyone will fight there. “From now on, his fear is great to see Belarus commit militarily to lend a hand to Putin’s Russia. But even here, the Belarusians could well find themselves on both sides.