Inside The Total Destruction of Ukrainian Villages

Our thanks to Julia and her team for their courage and dedication.
Dan Smith

Dan Smith

A passion for podcasting to tell the world about the great things Rotary is doing.

In March 2023 we visited five Ukrainian villages that were trapped behind the Russian lines for months.

We were the guests of the Rotary Club Kharkiv Nadiya, Nadiya means “Hope.” In one village we were less than seven miles from active fighting. This war for Ukrainian freedom is right there, all day, every day. Loud, violent and traumatic.

These villages were totally destroyed and the farmers living there cannot plant their fields because of the land mines.

This is one of those villages and the burned out rubble of Ludmila’s family home. The home was built by her parents. Before the war she lived there with her sons and their families. This is raw, unedited video.

Our thanks to Julia and her team for their courage and dedication.

11 Responses

  1. Very powerful and helpful to see on the ground footage of what is really happening in Ukraine. Hard to believe the inhumanity of war, and sad for so many to lose their homes, and their livelihood. But yet they smile and have their community. Thankyou for all your club is doing to help.

  2. Wow, this is so impactful! Thanks, Dan, for your perseverance and willingness to go to Ukraine and show & tell the deeper truths of war.

    1. I sent the first comment and link to Julia and she wrote back ” Thanks my dear friend.
      I’m in Verden.
      Yesterday evening RC Verden celebrated their 60 years anniversary. This is our partner club. They support us very strongly during the war.
      I was so surprised and so frustrated because they gave me Paul Harris Fellow Award for my service. I lost myself under waves of emotions.” such a well deserved award for such a humble person.

  3. Wow, very sad. Impactful and disturbing. Thank you Dan for reaching in and showing these videos in a war zone. Be safe. any sign of the Firetruck?

    1. Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to look for the fire truck. I did ask. It is with another club. Julia wanted to show you what is going on in the villages, which is her clubs focus. They are the people who were actually occupied by the Russian troops.

  4. Our hearts pour out to these people. Linda and I are eager to hear your stories when you return home. Be safe, Dan!

  5. Powerful, honest, and heartbreaking documentation. Dan, as we witness nature’s destruction in the United States with tornadoes, you document the challenge of the peaceful Naydia people coping with human-caused destruction. Thank you for connecting with Rotary Fellowship in Ukraine. The people you interview inspire, and they deserve peace and a cessation of the Russian-led hostility.

  6. Dan!!! Wow, never before have I been able to see how people live during war. Why can’t we get beyond such violence. Sure glad we are trying in so many ways such as with our Peace Fellowship program. Thank you

    1. Thank you all. It is a great pleasure to meet these incredible people. As we dive deeper into the stories you will be amazed at the great impact Rotarians are having on peoples lives. On the train from Lviv to Warsaw I meet a young woman who had just visited her grandparents in Dnipro. I showed her this video. Just looking at the people in the opening she began crying and could not go on. I think they reminded her of her family and their struggles. As you already know, and I’m just beginning to understand, being a part of Rotary is life changing.

  7. Dan – your past experiences in the region are invaluable and enhance your perseverance with this project. Thank you for bringing these stories to us!

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