US nonprofit ships medical supplies to Ukraine but faces logistics complications

With the war in Ukraine raging on, the country is in critical need of medical supplies. One nonprofit in the U.S. is trying to fill that void.

Project C.U.R.E. has 30,000 volunteers for its seven locations nationwide. It’s been working nonstop since Russia invaded Ukraine. All equipment or supplies in the distribution centers are donations, but the journey to get these supplies to the war zone certainly isn’t easy.

Volunteers have been hard at work at the Project C.U.R.E. international headquarters and distribution center in Centennial, Colorado. Lyn Tison has been a volunteer with the organization for a year and says things
have gotten much busier since Russia invaded Ukraine.

“Every little bit counts, and even though I’m not there, I still feel like I’m helping a lot,” said Tison.
As for the logistics and shipping of medical supplies to Ukrainians in need, the timing of the war couldn’t be worse.

“Right now, it’s difficult to get an airplane or container to go anywhere anyway, and we have been postponed two or three months on the loads that we’re doing. And now there is a crisis, and we need to get going on shipping,” said Douglas Jackson, Project C.U.R.E.’s president and CEO.

Once medical supplies do leave Colorado or any one of the seven Project C.U.R.E. branches scattered across the country, they have a long journey to eventually get to Ukraine, The Trumpet gathered.

From the Colorado distribution center, the supplies will travel to Chicago by truck, Chicago to Toronto by truck, Toronto to Warsaw by plane and Warsaw into Ukraine by truck. Project C.U.R.E. partnered with Ukrainians of Colorado. Volunteer Andrij Lenec’s parents were Ukrainian immigrants, and he served in the Peace Corps in Ukraine after he retired. Lenec said when Russia invaded Ukraine, he was stunned.

“That first day, I was just in a state of shock. Knowing that people that I know, and love, and lived with, and ate with and conversed with were in danger,” Lenec said.

Ukrainians of Colorado is helping coordinate requests for specific trauma and medical supplies directly from Ukraine. “I’m really happy to find that we’re addressing the right need at the right time,” Lenec said.
Pavlo Kozenko is a Ukrainian doctor in Truskavets, a town near the city of Lviv in Western Ukraine.

“We are really thankful to the United States and other Western countries for the great support we’ve already received,” said Kozenko. Kozenko says the main equipment needed includes tourniquets to stop major bleeding, which he says is the No. 1 preventable cause of death.

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“Priority No. 1 is the treatment of our soldiers and saving their lives, but also we appreciate any kind of medical, relevant medical equipment or relevant drugs which come to Ukraine,” said Kozenko. Project C.U.R.E. is giving all that it can right now, but once the supplies get close to Ukraine, things could change at a moment’s

“Everyday, that green zone is changing, the route end is changing. You’ve got bombing and all kinds of missiles and everything else,” Jackson said. “So, what was a safe passage yesterday may not be a safe passage tomorrow and that’s part of the trick with this one.” Once medical supplies do make it to Europe, Jackson said, Project C.U.R.E. will work with organizations to move it by truck into Ukraine. Jackson says it’s going to all come down to trust. Russia Threatens To Abandon American Astronaut In Space

Threats and counter-threats between the US and Russia, owing to the latter’s invasion of Ukraine, may not quell anytime soon as the Russian Space Agency has posted a video on social media threatening to abandon U.S. astronaut, Mark Vande Hei in space.

Astronaut Vande Hei, who holds the ongoing record for longest space flight was set to end his 355 days in space in three weeks’ time. The plan was for him to land in Kazakhstan with two Russian cosmonauts on a Russian spacecraft. But everything seems to go south due to the unprecedented US sanctions against Russia which could put Vande Hei’s return on hold or even abandoned up high in the sky.

Just in case you missed it, President Joe Biden of the USA had announced new sanctions, including cutting more than half of Russia’s high-tech imports after Russia invaded Ukraine more than two weeks ago.

According to Biden at a White House address on February 24: “It’ll degrade their aerospace industry, including their space program.” Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s Space Agency and a close ally to Russian President, Vladimir Putin, had replied to Biden in a series of hostile tweets. The agency then went ahead to post a video in Russian which threatened to leave Vande Hei behind in the International Space Station (ISS) and detach Russia’s segment of the space station altogether.

Reacting, a former astronaut, Scott Kelly said: “I was just enraged that he, the [cosmonauts], said that they were going to leave an American crew member behind. I never thought I would ever hear anything so outrageous.”
Although the war has continued to wage here on Earth, Kelly said, he hopes that the US-Russian partnership in space can be mended.

“I’ve known [people at the Russian Space Agency], many of them for well over two decades, I trust them. I’ve literally trusted them with my life before.” He however added that the U.S. should still “prepare for the worst”
and “hope for the best.”

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, has maintained silence over Rogozin’s threats to abandon Vande Hei in space. Recall that the ISS is divided into two sections: The Russian Orbital Segment operated by Russia and the United States Orbital Segment run by the U.S. American and Russian astronauts were the first to step inside the ISS in 1998 and have maintained partnership ever since. When the U.S. shuttle program ended in 2011, U.S. astronauts like Cady Coleman relied exclusively on Russian rockets to get her on board the station. Coleman had hinted that once on board the craft, where you came from didn’t matter, and it was all about how to work and live with one another.

“Space is hard and space is dangerous. And in my experience … with our Russian partners it means sitting down, having a meal together. It means talking about what’s hard for you, what’s hard for them and how together we can get this accomplished. [We] look each other in the eye and realize that we’re all about the same thing,” she shared.

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