Ukrainian medics who work on the frontline visited Edinburgh with a war-damaged ambulance to draw attention to the two year anniversary of the full-scale invasion by Russia on 24 February.

The tour which takes in all major UK cities is an opportunity for the public, media and politicians to hear powerful testimony first-hand and to be inspired by the everyday acts of bravery by the medical personnel.

The ambulance is a stark exhibit of the realities of life on the frontline: pockmarked with bullet holes and shrapnel damage.

The doctors and nurses have repeatedly been targeted during the war. Almost 200 medics have been killed with Russian weapons as they tried to save lives and more than 2,000 attacks have focused on health centres, hospitals and ambulances over the past two years.

One of the medics, Iryna ‘Lucky’ Knyzhnyk, 46 from Vinnytsia, Central Ukraine, said: “The frontline in Ukraine might feel distant for some people in the UK, but we Ukrainians have felt the weight of support and solidarity from the British public and British politicians from across the political spectrum – and it means so much to us. I’m looking forward to meeting people from all over the UK to talk about the situation in Ukraine, and about my own experiences as a frontline medic, in the hope that we can maintain and grow the special bond that exists between our countries and the solidarity that the UK has shown since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion two years ago.

“We’re all medics because we want to be out there saving lives. But the number of frontline medics killed since the start of the war is horrendous. Almost 200 have been killed over the last two years and countless hospitals and medical facilities have been bombed, it’s appalling. We’re going to keep on treating those who need medical care, but the only way to stop this for good is to help Ukraine end the war and push Russia out of the country.” 

Uliana Poltavets, Ukraine Emergency, Response Coordinator at Physicians for Human Rights, a partnering organisation of the tour, said: “Bombs raining down. The risk of captivity and torture. The electrical grid knocked out. Ukrainian health workers regularly face all these threats and more as they work to save lives, especially in Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine.

“Medical personnel and the health care facilities they work in are protected under international law. Russia’s brutal and ongoing attacks on health must not be used as a method to intimidate the civilian population.”

19/2/2024Picture Alan SimpsonFrontline medics from Ukraine with a shot up civilian ambulance visit Calton Hill during their UK tour
19/2/2024Picture Alan SimpsonFrontline medics from Ukraine with a shot up civilian ambulance visit Calton Hill during their UK tour
19/2/2024Picture Alan SimpsonFrontline medics from Ukraine with a shot up civilian ambulance visit Calton Hill during their UK tour
19/2/2024Picture Alan SimpsonFrontline medics from Ukraine with a shot up civilian ambulance visit Calton Hill during their UK tourBrandon Mitchell Canadian Yuliia Paievska Iryna Knyzhnyk The Rt Hon Lord Provost Robert Aldridge
19/2/2024Picture Alan SimpsonFrontline Medics from Ukraine with a shot up civilian ambulance on Calton Hill.Canadian Brandon Mitchell

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Founding Editor of The Edinburgh Reporter.
Edinburgh-born multimedia journalist and iPhoneographer.