We first wanted to apologize for not posting our updates these last few stressful months. As we started our fundraising efforts supporting the people in need within Nova Kahovka (Kakhovka) Ukraine we were able to stay focused as most all systems (farms, stores and the people in the city) were operating fairly regularly. We of course ran into logistical issues as the city is occupied by Russian forces but we found a workable day to day to keep delivering and pushing forward.
The night after our last Traditional Ukrainian Food Tasting Event at Pub 97 on July 11th the situation in Nova Kahovka got worse. The conflict was reaching the city in a very dangerous way. Ukrainian armed forces started to interrupt Russian logistics and hitting their ammunition depots. Some of them located close to open markets right in the middle of the city and of course caused a lot of damage to residential buildings.
At this point we were forced to temporarily discontinue deliveries due to high risks of hits and falling missile fragments.
Our hope was that the situation would eventually stabilize so we could get back on track but days turned into weeks and we began to see no end in sight. Around the same time we also had a few members of our volunteer team flee the city as well as many other citizens. At the time this was a very dangerous trip, but people felt compelled to abandon their homes and take a risk in hopes for safety.
In August, as we were trying to figure out how to manage safe food deliveries, we lost connection with our coordinator and shortly after we also lost access to our warehouse as well. We assume Russians found it and occupied it, same as they did with our bomb shelter we had been setting up and stocking since April. Since this is an occupied city all we can do is make educated guessing as to what happened so it’s just an assumption. Even today we still don’t know the details.
Currently traffic around the city is restricted. People are taking a risk just being outside. Russians stop citizens for no reason, asking questions, checking their phones and in some cases forcing people out of their home for questioning. There are also some parts of the city where citizens are not allowed to be.
We try to imagine how this must feel being a prisoner in your own home, living in an atmosphere of anxiety day and night. It is no less than terrifying.
Since July 12th Nadiia’s parents have been sleeping on mattresses in the main building hallway. Some people have just moved to available bomb shelters, some of them lost their homes and some just don’t feel safe at home. Hospitals are occupied by Russians and emergency services are not available. The produce in stores is two to three times overpriced and most have a difficult time just finding enough food to live. It’s hard to set priorities with so many people suffering.
A lot of people took a risk to leave the city and now it is very empty with only about 15,000 people remaining. This took us a while to find someone to continue helping with our humanitarian mission as most of the ones who were operating fled as well.
The situation in the city was difficult since the very beginning of the invasion, but now Nova Kahovka is in a critical situation. As Ukraine army moves forward (south toward the city) attacking Russians logistics and ammunition depots from a distance, Russians become more aggressive which puts more risks for the people in the city and the entire Kherson region.
Our Current Deliveries
In October we located another small volunteer group who has been purchasing food & supplies specifically for children in the city. We have started to work with them by assisting with the purchases. Once they make a purchase they issue us with a receipt so we have record of when and what was purchased. So far this is working out and we hope we can continue to help in purchasing more food and essentials for people in need.
We are also working directly with individual families in need with financial assistance in exchange for a printed receipt of purchase.
With your support our hope is to continue helping those remaining in Nova Kakhovka by providing the much needed funds to purchase food and essentials each and every day.
Thank you so much,
Jarred & Nadiia Sadowski