Ukraine. Elected officials visiting war-torn country: “Nothing is hidden from us”
By Marie Lamarck
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On the road to Drhobych, townUkraine 76,000 residents are still affected war against his country RussiaElected representatives of the Community of Communes of Sabolia Country (Sarthe) wanted to send a strong message.
During the five-day visit, which ended on Friday, December 2, 2022, they, along with several employees of the Salesky transport company, fraternized with the Ukrainian municipality.
A week after their return, they talk about their memorable stay with emotional encounters.
“From logistics to human relations”
In Drhobytch, very close to the Polish border, donations transported by Sabolian’s Salesky trucks are received and distributed to help them. refugees.
Shortly after the conflict began, former director-general Jerome Herve contacted Alexander Mysyshyne, a former Ukrainian politician originally from Drohobych, to organize the convoys.
By going there, elected officials and volunteers moved from a “logistical relationship to a human relationship” with the townspeople.
A different reality of war
Upon arrival, they were greeted by top musicians dressed in traditional attire. “It was very emotional,” said CdC president Daniel Chevalier.
A ceremony that will set the tone for your stay. The delegation does not hide that it shed tears several times.
Salesky sales assistant Virginie Bigot-Pottier still shivers when she thinks of the college students who gave her the Ukrainian flag. “They all signed,” he describes with emotion in his voice.
He discovers a reality on the spot war it’s different than what you see on TV. “They forced us to see without hiding anything from us,” said Pascal Lelièvre, vice-president of the CdC.
What will happen next?
After this emotional trip, what will be the next step in the context of the recorded twinning?
Daniel Chevalier, president of the Community of Communes of the Country of Sabolia, hopes that in turn the residents of Drohobych will be able to go to the area.
But for the time being, the war that complicates exchanges means that initiatives can be implemented as soon as the elected official conflict ends.
“The real continuation will be in peacetime. We imagine a moment of celebration. We will have to build something that can bring us closer. »
During this visit, elected officials realized that Ukrainians are already in the post-war period.
On the economic level, exchange between the industries of the two countries would be possible. Vice-President Pierre Paterne emphasized that they “discovered the tourist qualities of this region of Ukraine, endowed with majestic mountains.”
A city behind
Within three months, the buildings were restored to serve as an emergency reception. Members of the delegation show a photo of a woman in a small room furnished with old-school desks.
If the town is not in the front, “Drohobytch is more of a back town. When we saw the sandbags piled up in front of the town hall, we realized very quickly that they were ready to be used to seal the openings,” describes the elected officials.
But they never felt confident. On their last evening, an event comes to book them at the restaurant.
A warning has been issued. We were told to sit down.
The end of the war for spring?
Life in Drhobych also happens underground. In the basements of the municipal building, there are boxes of food from different countries everywhere.
We found them in the corridors, on the stairs. There was no heat, no light.
Another striking scene, this time in the basements of the city’s cultural center. Little hands sew nets and camouflage suits.
The delegation was surprised by the “78-year-old woman” among the volunteers. The only lighting equipment is a headlight.
A meticulous job motivated by a desire to support soldiers. “Ukrainians are tough, they are fighters with a very strong sense of patriotism. They think they will win war at the end of summer”, elected officials say.
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