Volunteer organizations at the Ukrainian support points on the border of Latvia provide warm food and tea, information, as well as the possibility of charging devices. Silene is the only place that Ukrainians fleeing from the occupied territories can cross without a means of transport. As the flow increases, one of the aid vans is also deployed here.
“People have very different reactions, because the point they cross is like the last border before Europe, and many go out and cry, many go out and laugh and jump,” said volunteer coordinator Evita Savicka in Daugavpils and Silene.
“Somehow the atmosphere is different there, it's not too pleasant, but here I come, and there's a feeling I'm home. It's a festival here! No rights, no freedom to live on that side. A crushed snail on the ground has more rights and freedom than us,” said fugitive Andrei of the Kherson area in Ukraine.
Volunteers stressed that the flow of refugees is very different, there could be “empty” days, as was the case at this time of filming, but there are times when even 20 people are assisted at the same time. Last week, 76 people traveled from the hardest-hit area of Kherson to Europe through Silene. Mostly, they go on to Poland, the Czech Republic, and Germany.
Support points for Ukrainian war refugees in the border area are working in the course of the project, and for the time being, it will be funded by the end of the year. There is also a worry about the coming of winter because there is already a lack of helping hands and the need for heating systems, blankets, and warm clothing.
“There is also such a fear that they will not be allowed out of Russia at all, or out of Belarus. We hope they will let them out, then we will deal with the flow,” the volunteer coordinator said.
“Staying there is increasingly dangerous for anyone, even with the slightest hint of support for the position: immediately in the basement, immediately pressure, people disappear, wherever, and their fate remains unknown. Danger... But it's alright – we believe, I believe in our victory, I want to return home to Ukraine, replant the garden, potatoes. I hope soon it's all over!” said Andrei.
The situation in the border area has just been assessed by UN representatives, who hope to help at least with the purchase of additional tents and other items.