Contacts on the ground in Poland say they are equipped to receive the load and are looking forward to the security of supply it gives them for the immediate future.
Both the Ukrainian and Polish support teams are clear that they cannot handle individual lorries or private individuals as the queues at the border into the Ukraine are now 9 miles long! Paperwork has to be right to have a chance of getting through. If you hear of individuals suggesting they will head over with loads to help, please deter them. Much of the humanitarian aid delivered to the border is not being used, so already we are seeing so much of this go to waste as refugees are moved on quickly with little chance of taking it or even being able to carry it.
On this field there used to be 50 or more people training at a time. Now you see here just 1 person and it is empty since it is not safe now.
I am Anatolii Levytskyi, a vet, I work with small animals and horses and I used to be the vet for the Ukrainian national equestrian team. Because of my age I work now more with small animals. However, I have my own horses. This is a so to say an “infectious disease!” Those who once dealt with horses stay with them forever. So, one by one I collected (rescued and was given) rather a lot of horses. I rented stables in different places. First, I rented a stable in Cherkasy region and now I am here at the Hippodrome in Kyiv. Here are 10 of my horses, and horses of other people who asked me to keep them here, feed and take care of them. (35 horses under his care in the stables he rents)
We buy hay and grain and provide other things for their care and the owners come here to ride and train. Recently, there are 3 or 4 stables in Ukraine that have been bombed in Mykolaiv region and around Kyiv. There are even horses just running in the fields, (currently ice and snow) their owners set them free so that they don’t get burned in bombed stables. So, we all worry a lot. Many owners have taken their horses from here, these are mostly rich people. Other people like students could hardly take care of their horses and it is rather difficult to evacuate them now. Of course, they keep calling every day, they didn’t just leave and forget their horses here. Some are sending money. The Hippodrome (Stables) also cancelled the rent payments and asked only to cover utilities costs. You see that we have enough hay for a month now. The other owners also have made a stock for about a month, and we hope that our enemies will be pushed away from Kyiv.
Another problem is that horses cannot stay on the concrete floor because they will have problems with their legs and if a horse has no legs, it is not a horse! So, we have issues with covering the stable floors now. Wood producing companies do not work now and it is a big problem, and we use straw for bedding now, but we don’t have enough of it either. It is going to be rather a big issue.
The horses need to be cleaned, fed and we need personnel for that. I have now only 2 people. I have slept at the stables for a long time already, but I also need to also work in my veterinary clinic. I slept about 2 hours per night during the last week. We need to be ready to evacuate the horses immediately and there are no conditions for that, no one was prepared for this. We don’t have enough horseboxes to transport the horses safely to anywhere in the west.
I had an internship in England (Liverpool Equine Dept) and I know people love horses there and veterinary care is at a high level. I would like to address the British people; I know them well and I know how horse protection is organized there. I want to send my request to them, if they have any possibility later to help with horse breeding in Ukraine, but now the priority is to evacuate the horses. I am getting offers from vets, they ask how they can help. But for now, we don’t have many injured horses, no horses to be cured. The first thing to do now is to save the horses, provide care and food, and evacuate them to a safe place.
Thank you for all your help. #TeamBlueChip