Vienna Mission for Ukraine

4/27 to 4/30 Recap

Published by Vienna Mission for Ukraine on

Puszczykowo Supply Project 2 – Anthony and Shonna, Project Co-Managers

Previously on 3/10, Filip, City Councilman from Puszczykowo, Poland reached out to VM4U with respect to an urgent need for assistance in furnishing an improvised refugee center which was born out of necessity in his small town of roughly 9000 people. Filip provided a list of needed items, including a refrigerator, washing machine, kitchen utensils, etc., to make the refugee center a sustainable place to live. Anthony and Shonna raised the requested items from through their personal networks and these supplies were delivered by Kaylan and Nathan on 3/26.

Since that time, the Puszczykowo’s refugee population has significantly increased to ~500 refugees. Filip reached out to VM4U with an additional list of needed items, which were also filled by Anthony and Shonna through their network of donors. This list included a refrigerator, washing machine, two dryers, stove, 6 desks, and school supplies.

On 4/27, 1 cargo van team, Marcus (First Aid First Hand) and Cliff, loaded the supplies into the van.

On 4/28, the van team delivered the supplies to the refuge center in Puszczykowo, Poland. The van was generously provided by First Aid First Hand organisation,

Van Operations

On 4/27, 1 cargo van team, Solomiia (YOUkraine) and Adam, picked up large medical equipment (ultrasound device and user consul), procured by the YOUkraine organisation and funded by St. Barbara’s Church, and transported it Landstrasser Hauptstrasse 138 (LH138). At LH138, this medical equipment was combined with a large amount of medical supplies and other supplies needing delivery to Lviv, Ukraine. The van was generously provided by Team Fynn, an independent group from the UK which is based on the Polish-Ukraine border.

On 4/28, Adam, drove Team Fynn’s cargo van, loaded with medical equipment and supplies and other supplies to Krakow airport. At Krakow, Adam picked up two members of Team Fynn, Ryan and John, before continuing onward to Hrebenne, Poland (the Hrebenne crossing is between Warsaw and Lviv). The team chose to overnight in a quite hotel in Hrebenne, known to Ryan, to minimise risk of theft from the van. There are no highways between Krakow and Hrebenne; the available roads (specifically 867 between Lubaczow and Hrebenne) are very bad, do not support busses, are badly pitted with potholes, and are risky due to the potential for pothole inflicted damage. In the event of a breakdown, there are no shoulders or firm ground to pull over. These back roads are not recommended to be travelled at night or in the rain. That evening the team investigated the refugee shelter there at Hrebenne, which was very small and nearly empty. Hrebenne was a very comfortable town to stay in overnight.

On 4/29, the cargo van team, Adam, Ryan, and John, crossed the Polish-Ukraine border at Hrebenne. The border crossing took about 2 hours even though there was no traffic. This border crossing lies between Warsaw, Poland and Lviv, Ukraine. There is no highway between Hrebenne and Lviv, however, the roads are good but rural. Thanks to logistical coordination performed by Julia, VM4U Director of Operations (as of 2022-05-01) with help from geospacial monitoring tools provided by Jon, VM4U Geospacial Information Systems Architect, deliveries to 6 people at 5 locations were smoothly performed, including 1 rendezvous with another vehicle. Following the drop offs, the van team headed to Przemysl, Poland through the Korczowa crossing (main crossing between Lviv and Krakow and the only known highway between Ukraine and the EU). It is noted that the Medyke crossing is a shorter distance between Lviv and Przemysl, however, the van team wanted to gain the experience of the Korczowa crossing. The Korczowa crossing took 6 hours and was effectively stand still traffic for most of the time. At current, no reliable information sources of border crossing waiting times have been established; chat groups remain the most reliable source of information. While between Poland and Lviv, fuel shortages were observed with many, but not all, gas stations being empty. Thanks to forewarning from online chat groups, the van team filled up prior to leaving Poland.

On 4/30, the van team separated, Ryan and John dropped Adam at the Przemysl Train Station. Team Fynn, Ryan and John, continued on to other tasks and Adam took a train from Przeymsl to Vienna. The OBB passenger train ticket was ~40 euros, took ~9 hours, and was direct (no transfers) to Vienna and Graz, Austria.