Vancouver man returns to Ukraine to give back again amid war

A Vancouver man has once again gone above and beyond to help those affected by the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Milos Pospisil returned from Poland in late-March after a helping transport fleeing Ukrainians at the Polish border. Now, he’s once again returned home, this time from a trip to Ukraine after delivering thousands of dollars worth of medical supplies.

Pospisil told CityNews months ago after his initial trip that he felt the need to do more.

“I was looking for a meaningful way to go back,” Pospisil told CityNews in July, after returning to B.C.

Through various connections, Pospisil was put in touch with the organizers of Project Volya — an initiative that raises funds to provide tactical medical equipment to those fighting on the frontline in Ukraine.

Pospisil was able to raise more than $10,000 this time around.

“We had done our due diligence, we knew what was most needed out there,” he explained, adding despite many fundraisers aiming to gather money for similar initiatives, there remains “a gap.”

“There’s there’s definitely a huge need for tactical medical supplies and a lot of other items as well,” Pospisil added.

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“I took like five suitcases with me, it was just brutal. And I dragged them all the way to Kyiv. I flew into Warsaw, got on a train, spent 20 hours on a train to Kyiv.”

But it wasn’t just basic medical items that he was able to donate. Pospisil says he also received a specialized pediatric surgical equipment from an anonymous donor.

“It was a sizable donation, like almost three suitcases full. And I delivered those to a very well-known children’s hospital and Kyiv … so they were very happy about that.”

In addition to medical supplies, Pospisil was also able to do something he’s desperately been wanting to do — deliver toys to Ukrainian children.

“So I spent a few hours with about a dozen children, most of whom had been injured as a result of the war. I was able to give them some toy packages that my family and I put together as well. And so that was wonderful, I was able to, you know, convey some important messages to them that we care about their future. It was a very touching, special day for me,” Pospisil recalled.

A man and three young girls pose for a photo alongside suitcases with the words 'Medical Help for Ukraine' printed on pieces of paper on each of them

Milos Pospisil has helped raise thousands of dollars for medical equipment donations that he delivered to Ukraine. (Courtesy Milos Pospisil)

During his trip, the Metro Vancouver man was also able to meet with Ukrainian fighters “to understand their needs, their medical supply needs.”

In order to get the supplies to those in need, Pospisil says he had to make his way to the frontline in Kharkiv — something he describes as a stressful situation.

“The morning we arrived, Kharkiv was hit by missiles,” he said, remembering the sounds of shelling in the distance, which in some cases woke him in the night.

“I was asking myself a few times why I’m flying and why am I doing this. But it was really important to get the supplies to a contact that we had in the Ukrainian army, a medical officer. We were able to hand over like $15,000 worth of this specialized tactical equipment.”

While there, he was given a tour of the military hospital, getting to see first-hand the impact his donations were having.

Overall, Pospisil spent about 10 days on the ground during his second trip.

The destruction hit him hard.

“I was able to see a lot of the residential civilian damage that’s been done to that country. I saw the schools bombed out, the recreation centers, shopping malls, all of it, it was very, very disturbing, very taxing to see all of that,” he admitted.

A building is destroyed by war, with debris seen covering the streets

Metro Vancouver man Milos Pospisil says the destruction he saw while delivering donated goods in Ukraine was hard to take in. (Courtesy Milos Pospisil)

Russia invaded Ukraine in a major escalation of tensions between the two countries in February of this year. The war has displaced millions of people and left tens of thousands dead.

Pospisil says he felt the need to personally deliver the donations to show solidarity with the Ukrainians who have been affected by the conflict. Despite all they’ve been through, Pospisil says the Ukrainians he met along the way were nothing but welcoming,

“I was welcomed with open arms, I was treated extremely well, the hospitality was incredible,” he said. “Despite all the losses they’re taking, they know that this is a war of an existential struggle for them. They don’t have a choice. But they’re encouraged by the type of help they get from from individuals.”

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