Recently, a lot of journalists, along with their main job, have been actively helping their own countrymen (not to say – state) in various fields. Galina Yartseva, the Transcarpathian Regional Television journalist and freelance journalist for central channels, together with her colleagues, friends, acquaintances and strangers is protecting Ukrainian army. From lack of food, lack of psychological support, lack of ammunition and even military equipment.
Why do you think they trust you?
When I decided to start doing this, I thought, what can I sell? I can trade may name and the name of my father-in-law (famous Ukrainian poet Petro Skunts – Ed.), I think he would not mind. I risk this, the dearest to me. In addition, people now trust journalists the most. That’s why journalists and celebrities take part in many of our projects. To avoid questions, who are they?
How much shipments have you delivered?
At the beginning, we thought that one campaign would be enough. Our goal was to boost the authorities. It all started with the collection of food, on the initiative of a border guard’s mother Victoria Plavayko. I met her and this was the starting point for us. Then Vika helped with logistics and banners. The first time, in supermarkets "Silpo" and "Dastor", in about three days, we collected about 3 tons of food. But it turned out that collecting was the easiest part: our people are willing to share, not only sweets, but also to give rare things. The most difficult thing is to deliver and receive reports that it has been delivered to the right people. We decided to support our Transcarpathian guys. We sent it to Kharkiv, where a small base has been established at the local military commissariat. The "Delivery" company delivered our shipment for free! Straight to the military commissariat! When our boys had the chance, they drove from the ATO zone and took everything. After Uzhgorod, Mukachevo and other district centers joined the campaign, where the food was collected in the "Barva" chain. The work there was also curated by the correspondent of "1+1" Natalia Zotova.
Who decides what should be collected, bought and sent?
We work according to orders. There are contacts with many guys in the ATO area, from officers to privates. Almost every day I talk to someone, we try to make lists of necessities. For example, they said that cereals are not needed anymore (they have understood that people can buy it in one day). There is a greater need in, for example, cigarettes. The guys say that cigarettes are equal to rounds. Even those, who had never smoked, started smoking there. We then made our efforts targeted, we saw that they needed basic medicines. We have sent whole boxes.
I thought that we would collect some food for the boys, show our authorities how to work, they would take it from there, and we would relax and celebrate summer. But unfortunately, it did not happen, because once we have sent these products, a much harder task appeared. I’m afraid to deal with money, I do not know how to count and there is always someone who asks "Where’s my money?".
Other quite serious problems emerged. At first, the boys would not say anything, assured that they had everything, did not need anything. But, when the shooting began, they realized that in fact they needed a lot. The first task for us was night vision goggles, they cost 3000 UAH, batteries and chargers to them are even more expensive. At present, we have bought around 16 pieces. This does not mean that the devices are only for the 128th brigade or the mountain infantry battalion, they are also for our "Alpha", the former "Berkut", border guards, internal troops and our so-called partisans – the "Right Sector." We tried to cover all who are on the war.
How did people surprise you? In a month or two, you saw them in guite different situations.
It is not really a surprise, but a belief that we deserve our own state. The way people respond! An old man gives a pack of cigarettes and looks like "I’m sorry, that’s all that I can do." And you want to throw your arms around his neck and kiss him! Although there are many people who complain "where are my 5 hryvnias, I’ve helped." People are people. But most are very supportive. In our volunteer movement, there are many educators, entrepreneurs, journalists and industrialists.
Do you believe in the good that will save the world? In the midst of it all.
I am an optimist, a fatal optimist. Absolutely I do. Some people are annoyed when someone travels to the sea, posts pictures of cats, bunnies in this difficult time. I am okay with this. I understand that there should be things like that in life too. What are they fighting for? For a life like that. I relax looking at such pictures, they soothe me, it is my personal relaxation.I also want to go to the sea to relax after the war. And I also want our boys to come home, and we, like in a film, will throw a huge party for them, all the city will gather together, we will sit down and say "Together we are strong!". It is sad though that so many are killed. The tighter is the circle around Luhansk, Donetsk, the more losses we have. Because it is a real war.
But I realized that each new death on the one hand brings up rage and on the other hand – even stronger desire to do something.