Every day, about 500 soldiers are wounded at the front, officials say, especially since Russia launched its attacks to conquer the Donbas region. Volunteer paramedics are the ones who go to the front and take care of the wounded soldiers. A Sky News team accompanied such a crew and saw what they were facing in their dangerous mission.
There are moments tn Donbas când normality intervenes. Here, a medical student named Skiff does his exercises before starting his shift in an ad hoc ambulance base. His colleague Van Damme finds a different way to relax by hitting a tree in the garden. Every ambulance needs a bodyguard here and it is their job to make sure the rescuers are safe, reports the Sky News reporter.
– Do you feel safe? Ambulances should be protected, they should be safe, he asks the bodyguard.
– No, not at all. They always bomb somewhere nearby. It doesn’t matter to them what happens, I’m sure, “says Van Damme.
It’s exhausting here, even though this 26-year-old has just started his career. He wants to become a Palestinian surgeon, but the war has changed his life.
– When we have an amputation of the foot, hand or a large wound, with blood on the floor, on the walls, all my clothes are full of blood. I can show you all my clothes now. It’s like the First World War when the soldiers were standing and just waiting for the artillery, says the young doctor.
In just a few minutes they were back on the road. Several soldiers were hit by artillery fire and needed first-line treatment and transportation. I waited under the trees for the troops to appear. But the doctors thought we were being followed. We were told to get out of the way and hide under these trees, because there are Russian drones above us and they could show us that nothing is forbidden. And in this war, everyone is a target, reports the Sky News reporter.
All the while, Van Damme continued to monitor how long the team searched the area, and the victims eventually arrived at the ambulance. A soldier with multiple wounds was put in the car, but they knew that starea his medical condition was unstable.
At some point, detonations are heard. It could have been mortars or a large-caliber weapon. But it was clear that there was no place to stay: “Okay, let’s go! ”
They stabilized the soldier behind their van and hurried to the hospital. In a few weeks, they believe the wounded will most likely return to the front. This is what the Ukrainians expect and desperately need.
Editor: Luana Pavaluca
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