Being absolutely sure of our victory: how western Ukrainian municipalities keep the rearward areas
Heads of hromadas of Western Ukraine talk about how they are confronting Russia’s attach, how they are contributing to victory, help the Ukrainian army and solve humanitarian problems
Author: Dmytro Syniak
Not only the Armed Forces, but the entire state, everyone within the scope of its capabilities, is doing everything to withstand the attack issued by a repulsive neighbour. The whole Ukraine now resembles a single organism fighting for its own life and for its own future. At this time, the success of this common cause depends on every particle of this big organism. Not only the army and volunteers, but also local government employees make a significant contribution to the future victory. Hromadas of the western regions of Ukraine where active fighting is not taking place, carry a special burden. We can say that these communities are working "in an extended mode". Heads of these hromadas shared this information with Decentralization.gov.ua, noting that “they do not doubt for a second that Ukraine will be victorious”.
Hryhorii Vanzuriak, Head of Hlybotska hromada (Chernivtsi oblast):
We already have about one and a half thousand internally displaced people (IDPs). They are already integrated into three educational and one medical institution. We prioritised the elderly, women and children in the medical institution, so that in any case they can promptly get medical assistance. We aliment all IDPs free of charge, and we provide humanitarian aid and food to those living in private households. I want to emphasise that these people are not doing nothing: they actively help local public utilities and weave camouflage nets for the Ukrainian army.
I gathered representatives of businesses and stressed the need of regular work and paying taxes. Everyone is ready to pay them without delay, in full. Everyone understands why the Russian army is destroying our economy. Also, yesterday, a company donated two buses, two ambulances and a SUV to a military unit based in Bukovyna. Ordinary residents of our community are constantly buying cars for the military. Literally everyone is trying to help our state to defeat the enemy.
We have medicine. Hospitals work narmally. We have just received a lot of medicine from an Australian foundation and are even trying to create a stockpile for bigger emergencies. All our pharmacies are working, many of them deliver medicines from Romania. In addition to those who live with us permanently, we shelter for one- or two-nights people who want to go abroad. These people stop here to come to recover after shelling and then head west.
Our social center takes care of the elderly and the education department carefully records and distributes IDP children to schools. Our community now has a school football team from Sumy, which came to us for a tournament and later could not return. These are boys in 5th and 6th grade. They live in one of the schools with their coach. To relieve these children psychologically, we organise friendly matches for them from time to time.
I am convinced that Ukraine will win this war because it is impossible to overcome the energy that Ukrainians have today. The Russian army will be completely destroyed and the yellow and blue flag will be fluttering over the whole Ukraine again!
Ivan Kovach, Head of Tyachivska hromada (Zakarpatska oblast):
We have more than one and a half thousand temporarily displaced people. About 80% of them live in private households - one, two or even three families in one house. We placed others in schools, adapted premises and children's camps. There is heat, hot water, three meals per day, and even movies in the evenings so that people can be distracted from the scary news. We provide those who are registered with food and clothing if needed.
Many of our residents are now weaving camouflage nets. Yesterday we sent many of these nets to Zaporizhzhia and tomorrow we are sending another "portion" to Kharkiv. We are also in constant contact with guys from our community who are currently serving in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and are now fighting near Mariupol, Sumy, Kherson and many other cities. When they have a certain need, we try to satisfy it as soon as possible.
Our hospital is fully prepared to receive the sick and injured. Children are on vacation until the end of the week, but we are planning to start distance learning on Monday. It is impossible to start offline learning at the moment because our schools are serving as home for people who have lost their own one.
I am still horrified when I think about how one country can attack another in the 21st century! I just don’t get my head around it! Not only the authors of this pointless massacre should be held responsible for this, but also people who support it. Our community is multinational, it is inhabited not only by Ukrainians, but also by Hungarians, Romanians, Slovaks and even Russians. And they are all shocked by what these Putin tyrants are doing. There is no forgiveness for them in this world, no!
I do not doubt that we will be victorious. Ukraine will crush the invading army because our entire nation has revolted against it. Moreover, the whole world is now standing by our people!
Petro Kulyas, Head of Dobromylska hromada (Lviv oblast):
We are on the very border with Poland, where many people feel safer than elsewhere in Ukraine. About 2,000 internally displaced people have already settled in private households, others we have placed in the dormitories of our lyceum. We still have places in school gyms, in the People's Houses, and so on. We accept all IDP children in our schools and kindergartens. It is true that there were not many free places before the war, but now no one complains about overcrowding. Many men who came to us have registered at the military enlistment office and are ready to defend Ukraine with weapons if necessary.
Our former residents, who have moved to Poland, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, are now organising humanitarian cargos for us there. We have also already sent up to ten of our own buses with humanitarian aid to all parts of Ukraine, including military units. Dobromylska hromada has significantly increased its assistance to local border guards, to whom it now constantly provides our equipment, products and everything they need. We also help Yavorov, Sambor and even Zhytomyr territorial defence units through personal connections.
All citizens of our hromada are determined to expel the occupiers from our land. And this land for them is not only Lviv region, but also Kharkiv region, Sumy region, Odesa region, Donetsk region, Luhansk region and others. All of them are no less native than Galychyna. No one has the right to tell us how we should live! That is why everyone is now addressing the Russian army in the same way as the defenders of Zmiinyi Island addressed the Russian warship. I am convinced that the Russian army will soon go in this direction.
Dmytro Balko, First deputy of the head of Chervonogradska hromada (Lviv oblast):
In the first days of the war, we received several trains with IDPs at our railway station, who were then partially distributed throughout our community and partially sent abroad. Later, many people came to us by their own vehicles, and we placed them in our four kindergartens. We immediately set up a humanitarian aid headquarters, through which we sent to Kyiv, Kharkiv and Mykolayiv several dozens of trucks with food, medicine, hygiene products and essentials. We arranged uninterrupted food supply for our territorial defence and Chervonohrad garrison fighters. We have enhanced checkpoints.
Through the Centre for Administrative Services we have organised the registration of internally displaced people, most of whom are willing to take weapons to defend Ukraine. We will win one hundred percent, although I feel very sorry that we must pay so many lives of Ukrainians to have our freedom. However, we have no other way. Ukraine has already defeated Russia, and our soldiers only need to confirm this victory. And we will provide them with a reliable rear.
Область:Чернівецька область Львівська область Закарпатська область
Громади:Глибоцька територіальна громада Тячівська територіальна громада Добромильська територіальна громада Червоноградська територіальна громада
Пресцентр ініціативи "Децентралізація"
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