Sunday, January 22, 2023

“We Heard Bombs Behind Us”: Julia Haart reveals the horrors of life on the front lines in war-ravaged Ukraine

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ZAKARPATTIA OBLAST, UKRAIN: Julia Haart bravely ventured into a war zone and recently spent several days volunteering on the front lines in Ukraine. The My Unorthodox Life star faced bombing and mortar fire to bring vital aid to the formidable fighters and recently shared a vivid account of her journey.

Julia has partnered with the Volunteer Ambulance Corps and Ukraine Friends, a US-based non-profit organization. The organization is committed to providing essential assistance to Ukraine, from providing humanitarian assistance to assisting refugees, helping with recovery and reconstruction.

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“We provide ambulances, medical supplies, tourniquets, warm clothes and toys for the children,” Julia told the Daily Mail. The star added, “Doctors are here to speak to the medical staff on the frontlines and get a better understanding of what they need and how best to help them.” About the reasons that led them to do so Risking her own safety to support Ukraine, Julia explained, “My kids thought I was crazy when I told them I was going to the front lines.” She added, “But I had to. My heart made me do it. 2022 was the most difficult year in my new life and struggle for freedom. Freedom is not something I take for granted.”

Julia also added, “I lived in a world where every aspect of my day was regulated and my heart, mind and body could not be controlled by me,” while later adding, “And then I realized that That’s what drew me here.” Though Julia’s own problems pale in comparison to the Russian invasion, she has found strength in her selflessness. The star noted, “Fighting for others gave me the courage to fight for myself and my family.” Julia drew inspiration from the people she met while volunteering, from mayors and local officials to military members and doctors who helped the resistance. She also experienced first hand the powerful effect of the solar powered lamps they supplied. During a visit to the IDP center [internally displaced people center] in Nyzhni Vorota, Zakarpattia Oblast, the mother of four was also thrilled to be able to deliver several donated toys to the children there, calling it a “magical moment”. “They sat there on the floor covered in toys and watched their faces light up. The lights kept going out, the force playing with us, taunting us with light and warmth, only to disappear a few minutes later, cloaking us in darkness,” she recalled.

The actress also recalled a particularly traumatic moment in a bombing, adding, “I woke up to the news that a hotel three blocks from us had been bombed and decimated. One person was killed in the blast,” she explained, adding, “I remembered the bang and realized it must have been that, a bomb that hit the hotel down the road. Frightening and terrible.” Julia joined a team of volunteer doctors and other helpers to bring much-needed supplies to the front lines. She took part in a dangerous mission, delivering medicine, tourniquets and warm clothing to soldiers amid heavy shelling and bombing. At some point Julia even drove an ambulance herself. She remarked: “The drive to the front was completely surreal. I can’t say exactly where we are, let’s just [say] Somewhere in eastern Ukraine. Everywhere we looked there were bombed out buildings, destroyed streets, towns and villages decimated by shells and explosions. Everywhere we looked people were still going about their business, stepping with aplomb over twisted slivers of medals that blocked the streets.”

Another day of the trip, Julia had the opportunity to learn how to fire a machine gun. The star added: “We hear thunderstorms (bombs) behind us. The bunker we were in 30 minutes ago is gone! The Russians, who repeatedly bombed the building, finally manage to destroy the bunker.”

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