Ukraine’s Winter Front Line: Humanitarian Highlights

With heavy snow falling in eastern Ukraine, support from humanitarian agencies becomes all the more vital. Here’s a round up of some of the recent work carried out by the good people at Ukraine’s Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Link to their website. 

On the Luhansk Oblast (province) front line, the people in the village of Molodizhne received insulation for their walls and roofs. With many houses damaged from the fighting or in need of repairs, this insulation material will go some way to keeping homes warm over the winter. The car below looking for all the world like a mobile Christmas tree, illustrates the problems arising from heavy snow fall. Travelling in a war zone is difficult and dangerous enough, but add winter into the mix and for many it becomes impossible. Access to coal and wood for heating is consequently much reduced, especially for the elderly, who don’t have ready access to any form of transport.



At this time of year, sledges are a must have item. Here flashlights and blankets are given out. Due to routine shelling along the front line, with much of it taking place at night, people are often forced to take shelter in cold, dark basements. There’s also the on-going risk of electricity outages caused by shellfire or mother nature.




And now some little princes and princesses.
When it comes to humanitarian work, education projects for children are of equal importance to other good deeds. With many schools along the front line destroyed or shut down, and locals communities unable to put on child friendly activities, support for the remaining schools is invaluable.

Down on Ukraine’s south coast and smack on the front line near the Ukrainian held city of Mariupol, is the kindergarten in the village of Chermalyk. In Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast, the village is among dozens of institutions supported by the – ICRC Access to Education programme. Seen here during its New Year party, ICRC staff joined in the festivities.





Driving home the dangers for both teachers and pupils attending school, is the need for protective film to stop windows shattering on impact. The ICRC has provided many schools with window film covers. The product has a dual purpose of potentially saving lives and limbs from flying glass and on a visual sense it importantly maintains a normal appearance for classrooms. Seen below, many schools use sandbags stacked up against their windows.






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