Some evacuations go smoothly and easily, others don’t.
The team consisting of Dima (team lead and navigator), Ori (photographer and second driver) and Jodie (driver) was in the process of evacuating people in northern Bakhmut.
They knew that this place is dangerous – only a few hundred meters away is the local border to Paraskoviivka. There, both soldiers and civilians are under direct fire. The sounds of firing machine guns could be heard throughout.
As they were packing the passengers’ luggage, their location was shelled by Russian mortars. No military in the vicinity, no other people were visible either. It is very certain that they were the target.
Eventually, everybody is safe, including two evacuees who now can without having to worry about their lives.
Constantly being in a war zone inevitably reduces the sense of danger – it is just human nature to adapt to any conditions. That’s why we work according to clear protocols and rules that we follow without compromise. But even they cannot protect us from unforeseen, sometimes illogical, random events. That day our team was just lucky, and luck plays a huge role in our work.
Obviously, if we want to avoid danger, the only way is to stay away from it. That is not an option for the teams whose job is to save and help others.
We will continue – until it is not possible anymore.
This video shows the evacuation of Andri Serikov and Yulia Byshova from northern Bakhmut on January 26th.
© Ori Aviram