Dear All,

Recently, among the many emails you send, there are those in which you tell us that you or your family/friends want to go (or already went) to Poland to volunteer and help refugees. Even one of the big family for which we organize a custom tour in June wants to dedicate one of their days to volunteering.

You ask us for hints and directions on where you should go or who to contact. 

We did some research and contacted a few organizations to learn if they need help from English-speaking people. We learned that there are thousands of individuals and many organizations from different countries in Poland already. Although in the majority of places Polish and Ukrainian languages are necessary there are also some points where you can help if you speak English only.

Here we described all the details on how you can volunteer: https://polishorigins.com/help-ukraine/#volunteer  

We also updated the document: https://polishorigins.com/help-ukraine with some details for those of you who asked about delivering physical goods (like long-lasting food or medicines). 

Now update from Alex: 

(See also the last part of this newsletter after Alex’s report.)

---

SUNDAY

Dear friends,

Big picture first.

The Belarus ambassador to Ukraine with family and other officials left Ukraine.

Russian marines from Vladivostok arrived in Belarus.

The Belarus military has concentrated assault groups in Brest, Kobrin and Pinsk, which is basically the Northern border of Ukraine.  Northern parts of Zhitomir oblast are still under missile, mainly villages near Ovrutch, Narodychi and Malin.

We will see what it is all about in a couple days.

I see more life in Zhitomir than last week. The street vendors, mainly from nearby villages, offered everything, chickens, veggies, eggs, seeds and others.

Videos

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Gmsk26C9PpBsdCvQ8

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Vex1UfA8aC5hNLgQ8

The guys in the rehab center in Vigoda purchased three small piglets. This is a good addition to cows, goats and chickens. More to come, if God’s will!

I have received several requests from self-defense units for shortwave radios, power banks and first aid kits. We will search for them in Poland or Europe and ship them to Zhitomir.

Thank you all for taking part in all possible ways to help us in Ukraine! Much appreciated!

Alex

P.S. A little humor. I got a call from the insurance company to remind me that my car insurance expires in 5 days.  I wonder if this insurance covers missile attack or tank encounters.

 

TUESDAY

Dear friends,

Nothing has really changed since the last time. The best to describe this situation is uncertain.  The threat of the Belarus military joining the war is still high.

Zhitomir military oblast administration has announced new limitations for the civilians:

    1.  No videos of photos in the city and outside of the city

    2.  Taboo on visiting forests.

When I was out in the city today I was stopped twice by police and self-defense units for passport controls.

The gray zone near Zhitomir or zone of active land battles has expanded. The only safe way to get to Kyiv is to take a de tour.

I have received a letter from the mayor of Zhitomir with the list of necessities: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ru8uLm7Re3d1vSJfQ6BqnthOAFgE2y-4/view. My Polish family has been working on trying to find in Poland and Germany the items from this list (I attached this list FYI). Some of the military equipment from this list is just hard to find. The stores are just simply running out of them.  I was specifically asked by a commander of the platoon from Zhitomir for 3 of the Motorola radio systems (Motorola MotoTRBO DP2400) But no luck! 

So far we have ordered: long –term storage food, thermal blankets, thermal underwear and men’s underwear. We hope to get these items by Monday next week in Lodz and then we will ship them to Zhitomir Ukraine.

Thank you all !

 

THURSDAY

Dear friends,

In 1991 I made my first pilgrimage from Warsaw to Czestochowa. I was a part of young people from my parish. We walked for almost 2 weeks. The destination was the famous Sanctuary of Madonna of Czestochowa. This icon of Madonna has a great significance for Polish people during the time of Swedish invasion.

Couple days ago I saw a new icon in one of my Jesuit's friend FB page. They called it the Madonna of Kyiv.

But this icon has a real name. Her name is Olga. During the shelling of Kyiv she covered her newborn baby to save her from shatters.

I believe in divine interventions. Like in 1655 Swedish army lost a battle at Czestochowa. The Russian army will lose a battle for Kyiv and the whole Ukraine.

On the other note. I was visiting two villages yesterday.

First I visited Stanislava. She is 76 and lives alone. Sasha is the mother of Sasha the shoemaker and he asked me to bring her medicine she needed. She gave me a bag of potatoes and lots of canning.

She went to her cellar to give me homemade pickles.

Video:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/2JYP6cEmHdNytxP99

She also keeps goats for milk.

Video:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/tFWi68aoZnPBUpUA8

Second visit was to Ozerianka village. My father in law is a beekeeper and asked me to look after his bees. He has several beehives in the village South from Zhitomir. I met one of his beekeeper’s friends. I asked him if one can train bees and to be used  as weapons. One beehive can accommodate up to 100 thousand bees. Anatoly, that is the name of this gentleman, told me that Ukrainian kozaks were shooting with clay pots filled with bees into Mongolian cavalry.

Can you imagine bees getting inside of them into Russian tanks! Maybe this is the biological weapon which Putin is afraid of the most.

Anatatoliy shayari about bees used as weapon:

Videos:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/w9DZcb3H5ESB72qy6

Peaceful life in the farm:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/rhWJeCPqwKytrTC56

Alex

--- the end of Alex's report. Zenon’s comments below.

 

First, we managed to find the Motorola System in Australia. Our friends in Australia organized the purchase and shipment of 3 sets to Poland. Thank you Kristin!

When the radio systems are in Poland we will transfer them somehow to Ukraine, Zhitomir.

 

Do you remember Zhana from one of the previous reports from Alex (video: https://photos.app.goo.gl/kxE98ZUJ5jTiQ2bb8 )? Zhana is a leader of a Zhitomir NGO “Zhytomyr Community Foundation”: http://www.fondgromady.org.ua/en/

Together with Zhana and Alex we are trying now to find a way for people and organizations from the world who would like to support the Zhitomir community to ship the goods to Zhitomir. As Alex wrote, they have a specific list of items most needed: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ru8uLm7Re3d1vSJfQ6BqnthOAFgE2y-4/view .

From Zhana’s experience, the international shipping services to Ukraine are not reliable now. But if they are delivered from Poland by trusted persons directly to Zhitomir, or even internally in Ukraine by the post office, there is a good chance that they will reach their destination. 

Best wishes from Poland and Ukraine,

Zenon and Team

PolishOrigins