Catergory Reportage
Country Ukraine
Year 2022
Camera system Fujifilm X-Pro3
01 —

Road to Kyiv

I slept very little, but very little,
honestly for the first time in 29 years of which 11 of travel it is the first time that I can't sleep for the thrill of trying something I've always dreamed of doing, I've already worked in a risk area, in an area where bomb alerts They were the order of the day, in an area where people protest for their rights and where they fight for freedom.
This time it's different, I didn't sleep even for a second and at 5 when the alarm rang I was already standing there and ready to leave towards ( Bolgare ) BG where Yuri the truck driver would be waiting for me who would take me first to Lviv and then to Kiev.

We begin to grind the first km, we don't talk much he is always busy making calls whether it's family or work, but between one song that plays on the radio and another we begin to loosen up and talk (as far as possible) a little , He tells me about when he started doing this job from a young age, how he manages work and family and how now during the war his work is doubled.
I note the regret in his words as he shows me some photos of his very young daughter (about 4 years old) of how she is growing up in a country with war and how she is unable to spend time together due to continuous transport.
The km grind and between a few curses for the classic old man at 40km/h on the motorway and a few laughs we arrive just before Ljubljana at the Trieste interport where we will spend the night.

02 —

Monday morning

6:00 the sun breaks on our window, from below I hear Yuri muttering that he would like to sleep a little longer, (the same goes for me as I woke up like 8 times, one for each time a truck passed by us) but yes get up, get ready and take the documents to the customs.
He goes up and gives me bad news, we won't go to Lviv but we should first stop in Stryj about 70km from Lviv.
After waiting for the green light from customs (which lasted almost 6 hours due to a missing signature) we can leave the country, and the km begin to grind, music, beautiful Slovenian landscapes, trees, trees and more trees create a green wall that he will accompany us until evening.

02 —

Almost arrived

meanwhile between a few songs and a few Blyats, yuri begins to open up a little more and more, we start joking as best we can and we communicate between gestures and a few words spoken on google translate.
After a double coffee that knew nothing of coffee, we begin our journey towards the Hungarian border which will take us to Chop (the first Ukrainian village after the border).
Not even the time to eat a bite and we begin to glimpse the first Military customs check signs, as we get closer the cars decrease, the people disappear and at the same time we see only trucks and a few UA-registered cars.
I'm starting to feel the pressure, and if they didn't accept the paperwork what should I do, go home?? after all these kilometers.
after all these days, after all these sleepless nights?
Only 5km to go we're almost there... but life has made me realize that this won't be just any journey, it will be an odyssey

03 —


9:30 am I arrive in Kyiv and just outside the central station I meet Viktoria my host who immediately takes me home, her English is not the best but through the most widespread language in the world we understand each other (in fact with my C2 in Language of typical Italian gestures) we manage to communicate and speak a little.
On the way home we stopped in one of the squares where I spent most of the time, in this square there is the famous monument to Princess Olga and the Monastery of San Michele.
One thing stopped me and shocked me, in the square destroyed Russian tanks were displayed, lined up next to each other, lots of people (mostly tourists) were there a few meters away taking selfies and showing their little ones how they are made the tanks inside almost as if it were a playground while many other children jumped and climbed on the crawlers, I turn to Viktoria and ask her why all this.

04 —

Sorting centers

It's a new day and I woke up to sirens blaring.
I get out of bed and have breakfast while outside everything is flowing normally in a country that has been besieged for the past 4 months, I take my camera and board my Uber towards the Made in Ukraine sorting center, the center is in a park just south of Kyiv there are many volunteers here but I interface with Alex, between a laugh and a few words (Google translate permitting) he shows me the hundreds of letters that arrive from all over Europe, especially from Italy, they often collaborate with one of the contacts who has allowed me to come here.
He shows me how they sort the material and how the goods arrive and are unloaded twice a week, loaded into a database that anyone who needs can access and mark what they need.
After having marked the necessary Made in Ukraine and Ngo_Procative_ Generation prepares the package for the family / families and organizes for the delivery, many times it is the villagers themselves who travel for days (in some stretches to avoid being shot they advance to manhole) to collect the goods on site.

05 —

Pro Active Generation

Alex introduces me to Dmytro, a very young boy from another NGO who occupies a shed a little further on with whom I interface right away.
He presents his project to me and explains the work carried out by his committee of very young Ініціативне покоління ( Pro Active Generation ) who gather every day in a former disco of almost 4000m2 to sort and distribute many basic necessities, he offers me a tea and he invites me to wait because a truck from Spain is about to arrive.
I think about it for 0.2 sec and I accept immediately in the end as well as taking pictures I am also here to help as a volunteer, it was 12:00 when the truck arrives and 20 people of all ages appear as if from nowhere, forming a human chain to transport all cargo inside.
Like little ants we pass the various packages and while I talk to the few people who speak English, there are those who have taken a break from a job to help and those who have husbands on the front and all they can do is help others. From Spain came everything from hospital beds to goods like diapers and clothes.