Skip to content

Right: Part of the group of brothers who regularly travel to war-ravaged areas of Ukraine to deliver much-needed humanitarian aid and to rescue those wanting to flee. Top left: The brothers rescued a Witness family who narrowly escaped this home after it was destroyed by a shock wave

APRIL 27, 2022

Brothers Courageously Deliver Aid, Rescue Others in Ukrainian War Zone

Brothers Courageously Deliver Aid, Rescue Others in Ukrainian War Zone

Thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses remain in hard-hit areas of Ukraine, where war broke out on February 24, 2022. In a demonstration of true brotherly love, a group of 21 brothers from the Ukrainian cities of Kremenchuk and Poltava are willing to venture deep into the war zone to rescue their fellow worshippers and distribute relief supplies.

Making about 80 trips within six weeks, the brothers have already traveled some 50,000 kilometers (31,000 mi) to hard-hit areas such as Kharkiv, rescuing nearly 400 brothers and sisters.

A group of publishers and young ones rescued from Kharkiv

To date, they have delivered 23 tons of food, as well as medicine, gasoline, and other supplies. Before embarking on each trip, the brothers carefully map out the safest routes, endeavoring to avoid areas of active fighting. One trip can take as long as 19 hours because the brothers have to stop at checkpoints where their cars are searched.

As they travel, warplanes fly overhead. The brothers see bombed-out buildings and the wreckage of tanks and cars. Sometimes, the brothers feel the earth tremble when bombs explode nearby.

On April 2, 2022, Roman was preparing to deliver supplies to brothers and sisters in Kharkiv when a volley of missiles began to rain down on the streets. He took shelter in a nearby building. Thirty minutes later, he saw that the road he was about to drive on had been bombed.

Volodymyr, one of the volunteer drivers, said of the precarious conditions: “We pray often to Jehovah for the wisdom to make wise decisions.”

Oleksandr and his wife, Valentyna, lived in Kharkiv with his elderly parents. As the war raged on, they could see explosions as close as 100 meters (330 ft) from the window of their home. With no car, the family had no means of escape.

Then the brothers arrived to rescue them. “We prayed to Jehovah, thanking him for the brothers who helped us,” Oleksandr said.

Vasyl, his wife, Natalia, and their three children huddled for several days in the basement of their house. On February 28, 2022, a bomb exploded near the house as they took shelter. The shock wave destroyed their home. Vasyl remembers hearing the explosion’s deafening sound and seeing all of the lights in the basement going out.

Vasyl and Natalia with their children in the basement of their home before it was destroyed

Once there was a lull in the fighting, the family moved to another basement in a neighboring building. On March 3, 2022, the brothers found the family and were able to evacuate them to a safer area of the country.

Vasyl describes how he felt when the family was rescued and they reached a safer area: “We were so grateful to Jehovah. For the first time, after what felt like weeks, we were able to have dinner in peace, free from the anxiety of worrying about our children’s safety.”

Oleksandr, one of the drivers, explains that the rescue missions give evidence of the unity among Jehovah’s people. “This has helped me realize how Jehovah cares for his people,” he says. “Seeing the grateful faces of fellow believers makes me feel tremendous joy.”

We are thankful for our courageous brothers, and we pray that Jehovah bless their self-sacrificing spirit.—Romans 12:10.