This trip was a joint delivery between us at Swedish Rescuers, Erik, Dala MP, OperationAid and @OkandSoldat.
We had two cars we were preparing in Sweden, both bought from Ljusdals Kommun, one was our third Transporter pickup with its origin from the Swedish Räddningstjänst (two had already been delivered to Kharkiv Rescue Services in our third delivery). The second car was a minibus, equipped with a ramp to accommodate wheelchair transports.
As we were planning our fifth delivery to Kharkivs Rescue Services, we got contacted by two other parties here in Sweden that were planning their own deliveries to Hospitallers in Ukraine, asking us for advice on how to manage the logistics, bureaucracy and such. Instead of trying to help multiple parties one by one, we decided it would be simplest to invite both to join us on our next trip. Suddenly we had four vehicles traveling from Sweden, loaded with a lot of medical equipment, medicines, and pain-killers.
In the lead time between buying the latest vehicles and them being ready to deliver, Kharkiv Rescue Services informed us it was to cumbersome for them logistically to use more vehicles running on another fuel than diesel. As we now had plans to meet up Hospitallers as well, we asked if they had wanted it, and they were happy to, a petrol engine was no issues for them.
When OperationAid heard we had vehicles goingd directly from Sweden to Kharkiv, they asked if we could help bring some aid to the Kharkiv Regional Clinical Trauma Hospital, we were happy to help!
The day before we left Sweden, the workshop in Poland informed us that the “Ledningsbuss” would be ready the same day we would arrive. We managed to get two drivers that could fly to Poland the next day, and pick it up early in the morning!
The workshop opened earlier than the ferry arrived, so the transporter could get a head start. It was also basically empty after having its content redistributed to other vehicles before being left behind in the last trip, so it was sent in advance to pick up additional gear in Krakow, bound for Hospitallers.
Late at night we all gathered at the last petrol station before the border, fueled up all cars and canisters, bought something to eat for breakfast, and then we rolled towards the border checkpoint.
Last trip we had a lot of troubles getting past the ordinary queues at the border, as humanitarian aid is supposed to, but this time it went as smooth as ever, after just a few hours we had passed both the Polish and Ukrainian checkpoints, a new record! We were still stuck though, as we had another three and a half hours before the Ukrainian curfew would end, and we were allowed to continue. We all made camp as best we could. Some sleeping in a back seat, some in the front. Some slept in donated sleeping bags in pick up bed, and some had the luxury of getting a stretcher in one of the ambulances.
When the curfew was lifted we were off, and we soon reached Lviv where we were met by Kharkivs Rescue Services.
After a meal in town, we started the last long drive towards Kyiv. The Rescue Services escorted us with blue lights flashing, and quickly negotiated passage at military checkpoints along the way. We reached Kyiv by night, and literally last minute we managed to buy some food to bring to the hotel. All the stores and restaurants closed at ten, an hour before the curfew, so clients and personnel had time to get home. @Okandsoldat and his Swedish Battle buddy joined us at the hotel for a late dinner that was topped off with a cake brought from Kharkiv.
Early the next morning we went in to Kiyv city center for a five minute stop at Maidan Square before boarding the train back to Poland.
Much love and a big thank you to all who sent donations through Swish, no matter how small or big, you are the ones who make all this work possible.
An extra thank you for helping on this trip in particular goes to:
All of you people who went out of your way to help us in the logistical nightmare of bringing all equipment together.
Smålands Militärhistoriska Sällskap
Sundins Bilservice AB