Independent reporter Kassy Dillon traveled to Ukraine earlier this month to see firsthand the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war that has displaced millions and sparked a flood of refugees into western Europe.
Dillon, on behalf of The Daily Wire, flew to Warsaw, Poland, with a camera crew to capture exclusive footage of the humanitarian crisis brought on by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine in late February.
The Daily Wire crew traveled from Warsaw to a refugee facility on the Polish border of Ukraine before catching a bus used to ferry supplies into the Ukrainian city of Lviv. In Lviv, Dillon witnessed the wartime effort on behalf of Ukrainian citizens firsthand, from a man leaving his family to fight the invaders to a wallet and purse-maker who is using his skills to construct vests for body armor instead.
One man soon leaving to join the Ukrainian resistance told Dillon that Ukrainians would never accept Russian occupation no matter the result of the war.
“No. Definitely no,” he said when asked if Ukrainians would ever submit to Russian rule. “We are too different between each other. There is a huge difference between our peoples. They behave as slaves. We don’t.”
One woman told Dillon in broken English about one of her former students who had joined the Ukrainian military and died fighting the Russians.
“He was in the Ukrainian army,” the woman said. “Yesterday, we knew about, he was killed at war.”
“We in academy [are] really proud of him because he is our hero and he was brave and he was fight[ing] for our freedom,” she said.
Ukrainians in Lviv have mobilized to join the war effort, from tradesmen lending their skills to the creation of war goods to facilities renovated into factories for Molotov cocktails and makeshift refugee shelters. One man described the transition to Dillon.
“In normal life, we do a lot of things here. We have a brewery here where we started with the Molotov cocktails. We have the manufacture here which produce clothing like this,” he said. “We were doing festivals, we have restaurant here, we have coffee shops. This is the publishing house office we have here.”
“Now, actually, everybody is doing their best just to, just to do something. To prepare the cocktails, to volunteer, to get the people who are running here from their houses in the east because Lviv is more or less safe for them,” he continued. “Some of them stay here, some of them move to Poland and farther into Europe. And we are preparing food for them and we are preparing something, some humanitarian assistance for them.”