24Hr emergency line +44 (0)20 8476 4099
Join Balpa

Life in a warzone: the real experience of a colleague at Ukraine ALPA

by Oleksii Kapustinskyi Ukraine ALPA

This blog contines images and real life accounts of life in Ukraine that some may find upsetting.

“I slept a little. For a moment it seems that I hear the spring thunder. The air raid siren sounds again… The horrors of war I observe and experience live.” – Oleksii Kapustinskyi, Ukraine ALPA

Oleksii Kapustinskyi is a lawyer at Ukraine ALPA where he has worked for 14 years. BALPA General Secretary, Martin Chalk has been in contact with colleagues in Ukraine during the crisis there. Olekssii has provided a first hand experience of his recent experiences below:

On the 24th of February, 2022, I awoke to the news that Russia had invaded Ukraine. We live in Kiev, near International Airport, Zhuliany – IEV which we feared would become a gateway for the Russian occupiers. However, they did not succeed. 

The stories of friends and colleagues from around the Kiev region are very difficult to hear and very sad. UkrALPA’s accountant escaped from her home in Nemischaevo (near Bucha), her house completely destroyed by the Russians. She fled. When she was evacuated, their column of cars was fired upon by Russian soldiers. She saw many civilian corpses on the road. 

In the early days of the war, we sheltered with many others in a large bomb shelter at the school. 

When my children could, they played in a playground at the school, but just after this photo was taken, a real grenade was found in this place – left by saboteurs. 

My children hear the air raid siren from 2 to 9 times every day for 53 days.  

ATTENTION! Air raid sirens in Kyiv! Please proceed to the shelters!” 

Kiev is barricades and checkpoints, Ukrainian soldiers everywhere.  There is our new reality. We are grateful to everyone who is helping us now. Especially to the British for their help in the fight against terrorist from Russia! 

 Слава Україні! 

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine started to unfold, and it became clear that for many it was a tragedy, BALPA contacted Ukraine ALPA via our international organisations IFALPA and ECA. We connected with their Executive Director and sought to offer support from BALPA where possible. We sent details of the UK Government scheme to sponsor families in order to come to the UK.

Like pilots everywhere, those in Ukraine are resourceful and self-reliant. They have not asked, yet, for any direct assistance. They are grateful for the support the UK Government is supplying and have asked for only one thing directly:

“We need close the sky over Ukraine or provide Ukraine with combat aviation.”