‘Near the Ukrainian border, we saw some smoke rising in the distance and a local told us it was from an artillery strike,’ says lorry driver delivering aid to Moldova

Edinburgh-based HGV driver Robert Marshall is transporting a lorry load of aid to Moldova, where thousands of Ukrainians have fled since war broke out.

Mr Marshall is working with charity Teech to distribute the aid where it is most needed in Moldova. Here is his latest diary chapter:

Day six

"We’re staying in Balti – Moldova's second largest city, with around 144,000 people - this is our base.

Smoke rising on the Ukrainian side of the border was an artillery strike, according to locals.
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“Things have gone well over the past few days. My load was emptied at a village called Calarasovca, which is divided from Ukraine by a river - we saw some smoke rising in the distance and a local told us it was from an artillery strike, but obviously we can’t confirm that.

“The trailer was off loaded into a warehouse by the river and there were lots of local people to help us. This warehouse is used as a base for the local area and when food, clothing and other supplies are needed, a van is dispatched to give them what they need, it’s a targeted approach rather than a blanket drop on everyone. The school in this village is being used currently for Ukrainian families.

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"We were interviewed by a Moldovan TV station, which said I was “din Anglia” (from England), not “din Scotia” (from Scotland). I did try to tell them and pointed at the Saltires on the back of my truck, but it got lost in translation.

Robert Marshall and his colleagues delivered aid to a warehouse in Moldova.

"We were then taken by the mayor to two Moldovan houses, where Ukrainian refugees had been taken in. We went to Singerei this morning, delivering aid to a refugee camp housing about 90 Ukrainians: it’s a site used during the summer for childrens’ camps so there are no tents, everything is hard walled. We did hear, though, that at night it gets stoned by Russian speaking Moldovans - we have experienced this too as we had a bit of verbal abuse in a bar from a drunken pro-Russian in Balti - so there is a little tension. This is what we’ve been told by people here, but again, this can’t be confirmed.

"This is the last day of my trip, and I’ll start the return journey to Scotland tonight.”

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Unloading aid from the truck.

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