The joy YOU helped bring to a besieged Ukrainian village: Mail Force mission delivers 500,000 food parcels thanks to generous readers
- Grateful villagers were finally looking forward to cooking a hearty meal last night
- The Mail handed out boxes of food thanks to donations from kind-hearted readers
- Mission to deliver 500,000 of our food parcels to the war zone rolled into the village yesterday
They spent weeks under the menacing occupation of Russian soldiers who isolated their village from the outside world, looted the grocery store and did not let them leave their homes, even to buy food.
The Russians also cut off the power supply, making life extremely difficult for even the most hardened inhabitants of Shybene during the freezing winter.
But grateful villagers were finally looking forward to cooking a hearty dinner last night after the Daily Mail handed out boxes of food – thanks to donations from our kind-hearted readers.
The Mail Force mission to deliver 500,000 of our food parcels to the war zone – in a joint operation with the Ukrainian Embassy in London – arrived in the village yesterday.
“Thank you,” Dominika, eight, beamed, swinging one on the handlebars of her bike. His hungry brother Denys asked if we had borscht soup, Ukraine’s national dish, which he said was his favorite
Shybene – 40 miles north of kyiv – was occupied by Russian troops during the early days of the war and saw heavy fighting. A few miles down the road is the town of Borodyanka, which remains a scene of utter devastation.
There were long queues outside the community center in Shybene, where volunteers were distributing food aid to people who until a few weeks ago were overwhelmed by hundreds of enemy soldiers and tank units preparing to an all-out assault on the Ukrainian capital.
The speed of Vladimir Putin’s shock invasion was such that many villagers could not flee and were forced to live like hermits inside their homes as war raged around them . It’s a poor area where locals live hand to mouth at the best of times, so they were overjoyed when they received boxes full of pasta, tomato sauce, porridge, beans and tortillas.
Young mother Valentyna, 21, drew coos from other women gathered around her as she had fun sitting her one-year-old daughter Veronika on one of our boxes
The Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and MailOnline UKRAINE REFUGEE APPEAL
Readers of Mail Newspapers and MailOnline have always shown immense generosity in times of crisis.
Appealing to that human spirit, we are now appealing to raise funds for refugees from Ukraine.
For surely no one can fail to be moved by the heartbreaking images and stories of families – mostly women, children, the infirm and the elderly – fleeing the invading Russian armed forces.
As this tally of misery mounts in the days and months ahead, these innocent victims of a tyrant will need housing, schools and medical support.
All donations to Mail Ukraine Appeal will be distributed to charities and humanitarian organizations providing these essential services.
In the name of charity and compassion, we urge all of our readers to give quickly and generously.
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Each 8 kg box contains 14 items with enough calories to last a week.
“Thank you,” Dominika, eight, beamed, swinging one on the handlebars of her bike. His hungry brother Denys asked if we had borscht soup, Ukraine’s national dish, which he said was his favorite.
This made his mother Varvara, 29, laugh, who said: “He is always hungry. Thanks very much.’
Young mother Valentyna, 21, drew coos from other women gathered around her as she had fun sitting her one-year-old daughter Veronika on one of our boxes.
She said that during the occupation she was interviewed by a Russian press team who gave her a box of food. “There was nothing in it except a few potatoes,” she added. “They just did it for propaganda.”
But she was delighted to find that this bountiful box of goods had come from Britain – thanks to Mail readers. Valentyna said: “I am very grateful to the people who are helping and supporting us in this time of grief. It’s a real help. Thank you.’
The campaign was funded by the incredible £13million donation to Our Ukraine Appeal, which was launched with £500,000 from DMGT, the Mail’s parent company, at the request of Lord and Lady Rothermere .
On Wednesday, Mail Force was named Editorial Campaign of the Year at the British Media Awards. This is the call’s third major award.
While the fighting has ceased in Shybene, the whole region bears the terrible scars of war. The local grocery store is destroyed after being looted by Russian troops who got drunk on vodka and whisky.
Grandmother Tetyna, 52, said: ‘During the occupation we tried to help each other but it was very difficult as we couldn’t escape from our homes. There were Russians everywhere all the time. It was very scary. There were days when there was nothing to eat.