Baby boxes for trapped Ukrainains

Baby boxes are among the items being delivered to new mothers in Ukraine as a charity calls on aid to "speed up".

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Undated handout photo issued by Edinburgh based charity Sunflower Scotland of their chairman Oleg Dmitriev (centre) as he delivers baby boxes and other aid to families in Ukraine. Issue date: Sunday August 21, 2022. PA Photo. Mr Dmitriev, who has just returned to Scotland after spending eight days delivering aid to towns and villages close to the frontline, said smart fundraising was needed this summer to help communities prepare for winter. Mr Dmitriev worked with local volunteers - often young men and boys - to deliver food and other basic supplies to villages, including one that lay just three kilometres from the frontline. He will return to Eastern Ukraine later this month to deliver another four-by-four vehicle to help volunteers distribute supplies to those with the greatest need. Mr Dmitriev said: "Winter is rapidly approaching, and aid efforts must now speed up instead of slowing down. We need to get aid quickly to the people trapped in the towns and villages that I visited, so that they have the supplies they need to survive the winter. See PA story SCOTLAND Ukraine. Photo credit should read: Sunflower Scotland/PA Wire 


NOTE TO EDITORS: Not for use more than 21 days after issue. You may use this picture without charge only for the purpose of publicising or reporting on current BBC programming, personnel or other BBC output or activity within 21 days of issue. Any use after that time MUST be cleared through BBC Picture Publicity. Please credit the image to the BBC and any named photographer or independent programme maker, as described in the caption.
For use in UK, Ireland or Benelux countries only. Undated handout photo issued by Edinburgh based charity Sunflower Scotland of their chairman Oleg Dmitriev (centre) as he delivers baby boxes and other aid to families in Ukraine. Issue date: Sunday August 21, 2022. PA Photo. Mr Dmitriev, who has just returned to Scotland after spending eight days delivering aid to towns and villages close to the frontline, said smart fundraising was needed this summer to help communities prepare for winter. Mr Dmitriev worked with local volunteers - often young men and boys - to deliver food and other basic supplies to villages, including one that lay just three kilometres from the frontline. He will return to Eastern Ukraine later this month to deliver another four-by-four vehicle to help volunteers distribute supplies to those with the greatest need. Mr Dmitriev said: "Winter is rapidly approaching, and aid efforts must now speed up instead of slowing down. We need to get aid quickly to the people trapped in the towns and villages that I visited, so that they have the supplies they need to survive the winter. See PA story SCOTLAND Ukraine. Photo credit should read: Sunflower Scotland/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: Not for use more than 21 days after issue. You may use this picture without charge only for the purpose of publicising or reporting on current BBC programming, personnel or other BBC output or activity within 21 days of issue. Any use after that time MUST be cleared through BBC Picture Publicity. Please credit the image to the BBC and any named photographer or independent programme maker, as described in the caption.

Baby boxes are among the items being delivered to new mothers in Ukraine as a charity calls on aid to "speed up".

Oleg Dmitriev, chair of Edinburgh-based charity Sunflower Scotland, has said support is urgently needed for civilians trapped in eastern Ukraine.

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He said vulnerable families may not survive the harsh winter without it.

Mr Dmitriev has just returned to Scotland after an eight-day trip delivering aid to towns and villages close to the front line of the Russian invasion.

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He worked with local volunteers to deliver food and other necessary supplies - such as walking aids and baby items to hospitals.

Speaking on BBC Scotland's The Sunday Show, Mr Dmitriev said: "Winter is rapidly approaching and aid efforts must now speed up instead of slowing down.

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"We need to get aid quickly to the people trapped in the towns and villages that I visited, so that they have the supplies they need to survive the winter.

"By the time we start seeing pictures of snow-covered fields on our television screens, it will be too late to help them because it will be much harder to drive to these places during the winter, especially if the Russians keep advancing.

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"I am scared for the people I met and how they will survive a bad winter.

"Aid is being sent to refugees in the big cities, but not to those people who have been stranded in more remote towns and villages. They have been left in limbo.

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"People have been living in bomb shelters for months. They are still living there now, but they've been forgotten about, and they need our help."

Mr Dmitriev will return to eastern Ukraine later this month with another shipment of supplies.

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The charity has dispatched several articulated lorries with more than 100 tonnes of clothing, food and medical equipment.

During last month's trip, Mr Dmitriev packed a 4x4 full of essential supplies, from first aid kits and tourniquets for doctors to surplus boots and uniforms for soldiers.

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He told the radio programme he had "no idea" what to expect when he visited towns such as Chuhuiv and Malinovka.

He and the team of local volunteers had to drive over a bridge to reach one of the villages. That bridge had been destroyed by the Russian forces following their departure, leaving no way in or out.

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He added: "People have stayed in these areas for many reasons. Some were afraid to leave, others had no means to leave, and then they delayed too long and were cut off by the Russian advance.

"Some are elderly people with no money to travel, while others have dogs, chickens, sheep or cows, and they won't leave their animals to die. People don't think rationally in times of war and the stress of living under fire changes people.

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"Ukrainians are resilient and optimistic, and I believe they have won the war morally. While Ukraine is fighting for its survival, it is our moral duty to support innocent people."

Mr Dmitriev fled Russia in 2012 after sensing the direction it was moving in and his wife Elvira Dmitrieva has family in Ukraine.