MEDITERRANEA SAVING HUMANS’ Safe Passage Mission has just arrived in Kiev. It is the Italian civil society’s first convoy to arrive in the capital with humanitarian aid for the Ukrainian people following Thursday night’s missile attack.

Volunteers from the rescue organization, whose mission is to protect life and human rights both at sea and on land, immediately began unloading more than 5.5 tonnes of essential medicines, food, and other basic necessities collected by the city of Bologna for its twin city, Kharkiv.

The convoy consisted of six vans: four from Rome, one from Milan, and one from the region of Veneto. “We traveled through the suburbs of Bucharest and Iprin which were devastated by the Russian assault. Upon entering Kiev, we found a surreal scene. Several buildings were damaged by the bombings, but there was also a strong desire to resist the attacks and return to  normal city life,” Sara Alawia, the spokesperson for the MEDITERRANEA mission, tells us. She continues her account, “The trip was difficult. We left Lviv at dawn and took a route along secondary roads, through bombed out bridges and on dirt roads in the woods. We didn’t let anyone outside  the convoy know our itinerary for fear we would become a high-value target.”

Sara Alawia adds, “We hope that the aid collected by the city of Bologna, which we are delivering directly into the hands of the administration of Kharkiv, can be a small contribution to relieving the suffering of that city which is now half-destroyed by the bombings that are still underway today.”

“In the upcoming days, we will meet with civil and religious authorities and with Ukrainian associations committed to upholding human and civil rights. And, above all,” the mission spokesperson concludes,”we will bring refugees, the most vulnerable people,  back to Italy with us, without any discrimination. Because, our message of peace is real and concrete solidarity with the population that is under attack.”