"Black Tulip": "War or not, but a soldier must be buried..."
Volunteers raise funds to search for and exhume bodies of Ukrainian soldiers in the ATO area
In Uzhgorod Press Club, there was a press conference of the NGO "Search-West", which together with the National public organization "People's Memory Union", with the support and guidance of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, within the framework of civil-military cooperation, together with the National Museum of Military History of Ukraine, are implementing in the ATO area a humanitarian mission "Black Tulip" - to search for and exhume bodies of Ukrainian soldiers in areas near Ilovaysk, Shakhtarsk and Savur-Mohyla controlled by the enemy.
Currently, they have found and sent for identification more than 150 bodies. The search mission is in dire need of funds and volunteers to work in the ATO area. This was told by the director of the NGO "Search West" Oleksandr Rusyn, members of the NGO "Search West" Kostyantin Balabanov, Karen Petrosov, Andriy Pyosa.
Oleksandr Rusyn said that the organization was engaged in the search for soldiers of the First and Second World Wars, and now together with the national public organization "People's Memory Union" they have started the great mission to search for soldiers in the ATO area in Donetsk region (in Luhansk region, separatists do not allow searchers to work). "Since September 2, we have found more than 150 people - Oleksandr Rusyn said - we are working with locals who provide some information on the victims, there is the hot line, where the information is gathered. Then we start searching. We transport bodies in refrigerators from Donetsk People's Republic to our military, they refer bodies to morgues. Soldiers are identified using DNA tests and then sent to relatives. We work from 6 am till evening, but we have to leave the occupied territories before dusk in order not to jeopardize the volunteers. We have two refrigerators and two trucks that break all the time. Therefore, we appeal to the public to help us at least rent a car so that volunteers could work."
56 volunteers are searching for bodies, there is a constant rotation. Volunteers can not withstand those conditions for more than a week.
Andriy Pyosa said that they have to contact separatists every day. Recently, they started checking volunteers' registration. They are particularly wary of representatives from Western Ukraine. "War or not, but a soldier must be buried, - Andriy Pyosa says. - We also want to make an exhibition (photos, various exhibits), we will tell people about the war, which is going on now."
According to the volunteers, locals are very helpful in the search for the bodies of Ukrainian soliers. One village head in Donetsk region under pain of death buried soldiers in the cemetery, and even apologized because he did not have funds for coffins.
Another problem that arises in war time is that Ukrainian soldiers have no metal ID tags like they had in the First World War and at the biginning of the Second World War.
Volunteers ask for help! They need to buy and pay for: 5-6 freight trucks for transportation of the mission members and 1-2 refrigerators for transportation of the bodies of the fallen soldiers. They also need special equipment for searching and retrieval of bodies; modern means of communication; personal protection, special suits, goggles, gloves, shoes, respirators.
You can transfer the money to the account: CB "Privatbank" PJSC, acc. number 26003056209093, MFO 380269, EDRPOU 37820137, NPO "People's Memory" Union".
Please contact: Telephone: + 38-044-362-77-61, + 38-094-927-47-61, e-mail: office@ unm.org.ua, 0501000948 Oleksandr Rusyn
The site for search of the missing naidy.org.ua, hotline: 0-800-210-135