Article by Guido Cocconi
The wreck of a ukrainian ambulance van, shelled last September by russian artillery in the Karkhiv region, was parked today in Vismarkt for public eyes to view. The bombed-out ambulance will tour cities across the Netherlands to raise awareness over the need for humanitarian aid and increasingly scarce emergency vehicles.
The tour is organised by the charity foundation Zeilen Van Vrijheid which delivers emergency vehicles and humanitarian aid and equipment. The ambualnce will move to Appeldoorn’s Stationsplein tomorrow and then on to Nijmegen, Utrecht and Eindhoven in the following days.
Most people walking by take quick a look at the vehicle and move on but some stop and investigate the shrapnel scarred van and are very interested to know the story of the ambulance from Ukraine. “We’ve had many reactions from people, some cried after they heard the story and signed up to volunteer as drivers for the foundation” said to 9to5 Gerlinde Korterink a volunteer for the foundation.
The Ambulance was severely damaged and rendered unusable from the explosion of a rocket missile, probably a Grad type, over a local medical outpost in the Kharkiv oblast, no people were reported to be injured in the attack. The ambulance has all windows shattered and is terribly scarred on one side where the flying shrapnel shards pierced through the steel chassis tearing holes in dozens. Some of the metal shards were extracted for viewing, the torn warhead of a similar Grad missile is also on display.
“People are aware of the war but it’s different when they see it in their city center, most have never seen something like this in their entire life” said to 9to5 Veronika Metsuei founder of the campaign. Russian armed forces have targeted ukranian medical infrastructures and vehicles as a method of warfare to impede the emergency services’ ability to respond effectively, the WHO has so far confirmed 802 attacks on medical facilities in Ukranine since the start of the war.
Tomorrow, US president Biden will visit polish president Duda and will attend a meeting in Warsaw on Wednesday with eastern european leaders. Russian president Putin too is expected to deliver the annual state of the nation this Tuesday. This coming friday the UN’s security council will meet to discuss on Ukraine on the anniversary of Russia’s invasion and propose a draft resolution to reach peace. Russian deputy UN ambassador declined to comment on the draft resolution, Reuters report.
Photo copyright: Guido Cocconi