War in Ukraine: This German nurse helps the victims of Putin’s war

Berlin / Kiev.
A German nurse arranges medical care for civilians in the war in Ukraine. The danger to life is part of their daily life.

There is only a mile or so between the point of impact of the rockets and Anja Wolz’s desk as the crow flies. The 52-year-old German was sitting in the Kiev office of the aid organization Doctors Without Borders International when the city was unexpectedly targeted on Thursday. It is the day on which the UN Secretary General António Guterres Kiev visited. And it is the first time after a long pause that Russian bombs are falling on the Ukrainian capital again.

Wolz has had many since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began nearly ten weeks ago air strikes expert. The qualified nurse has been working in Ukraine for so long as an emergency coordinator for her organization. Together with many volunteers and the Ukrainian authorities, Wolz is trying to get sick and injured civilians out of the highly disputed areas and to care for them.

For about 20 years, the native of Würzburg has been for Doctors Without Borders in action. Anyone who hears what he has experienced in this period is amazed by the optimistic attitude he has maintained. Wolz knows the wars and the worst crises, has been in Iraq, Congo, Libya, Syria and South Sudan and has helped with the Ebola epidemic.

Ukrainian crisis – all the news about the conflict


Working in war: “There is no safe place in Ukraine”


But working in Ukraine is different. “This is my most dangerous assignment so far,” Wolz says over the phone in Kiev. “There is no safe place in Ukraine”, he says, “Bomb attacks can happen anywhere.” This also applies to Western Ukrainian Lviv city to which it is considered relatively safe.

It was especially bad in Kiev about four weeks ago. “We were here in the hospital at the time and we weren’t going out on the streets. There were bombings every five minutes.” Her family in Germany were very worried and she tried several times to knock her out in the Ukraine dissuade Vanitoso.

He’s not afraid, Wolz says firmly, “otherwise I wouldn’t be here. Fear isn’t rational. And that’s exactly what I need to be here.” But he has a lot of respect for the situation and knows exactly how far he can go “and where the limits are”. Wolz dresses big responsibility. “I have to decide what we can do as a team and what not.” The security requirements are accordingly strict, “for example, we wear bulletproof vests”.

Deployment in the war in Ukraine: 120 foreign aides and many local workers participate

Your team – around 120 foreign assistants and specialists from Ukraine – including surgeons, anesthetists, psychologists and trauma therapists, as well as surgical and nursing staff. Then there are those who take care of transport, logistics and translation. In addition, the organization manages some kind of travel Hospital.

“We have a train with us intensive care unit. We can take very serious cases out of disputed areas and deal with them along the way, “explains Wolz. People would then be treated in clinics in other regions. This way, hospital capacity would be freed up in combat zones if new victims were admitted. .

According to Wolz, the situation in Kiev has returned to normal, despite the recent bombing. Thanks to foreign donations, medical care in the capital has been restored to the extent that, in addition to war wounds normal operations may also be resumed.

Crown in Ukraine: the pandemic played no role in the war

Many patients come from destroyed cities like Irpino in Kiev for treatment because his hometown hospital was bombed. The pandemic, on the other hand, does not play a role in Ukraine. “Here’s the attitude: we are at war, there is no more Corona”, says Wolz with a bitter laugh.

Even people with chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes now they could be treated again, at least in and around Kiev. Older people who have not fled are often affected. During the weeks of the Russian bombing, they could not get medicine. Cancer and dialysis patients, on the other hand, were usually taken early to other regions or countries in the EU.

“But I also learned of cancer patients in Hostomel who were not treated during the Russian siege and who died as a result.” And after a short pause, Wolz adds in a grim tone: “What’s the situation in Mariupol we don’t know. “The port city on the Sea of ​​Azov, besieged by Russian troops, is currently in the headlines around the world almost every day.

Situation in the city of Mariupol, in eastern Ukraine: “It’s a total disaster”

tens of thousands civilians they have been surrounded in Mariupol for weeks, cut off from all supplies. It is difficult to imagine how terrible the daily life of these people is. Even your organization currently does not have an overview of the exact situation in Mariupol. “But based on the information we have so far, it can be said clearly: it’s a total catastrophe,” says Wolz.

For them it is clear: the extent of the atrocities that will come to light will be immense. “I don’t think we have any idea what we’re going to see there,” says Wolz. According to Wolz, Butscha, Irpin and Hostomel, those places of horror where hundreds of people have been slaughtered and killed, are “just the tip of the iceberg” in this war.

Thing for the many helpers What is particularly bitter in Ukraine is also the fact that at the moment they can hardly do anything for the people of Mariupol. “It is currently almost impossible to bring humanitarian aid to Mariupol,” says Wolz. There are volunteers smuggling medicines into the besieged city, “but obviously these are only very small amounts.

Mariupol: Even the seriously injured cannot be operated on

And often there is no medical staff to take care of people “. The result: even the most difficult wounded it cannot be operated on, “the people who are there alone”. This also applies to the other disputed regions. “We can hardly deliver anything to other cities in eastern Ukraine since the Russian military offensive began.”

Wolz himself observes to what extent the threatening life in war can become part of everyday life: new deaths every day, bomb alert, the constant danger: you get used to it and that’s a problem. “I don’t want to accept it as normal. I don’t want to be boring, it would be the worst thing for me,” says Wolz. And he hopes that international public opinion will not get used to the fact that the war is raging in Ukraine.

nation

Ukraine

continent

Europe

capital

Kiev

Surface

603,700 square kilometers (including eastern Ukraine and Crimea)

resident

about 41 million

President

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

head of government

Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal

independence

August 24, 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

language

Ukrainian

currency

hryvnia

War in Ukraine – background and explanations of the conflict


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