On the morning of August 11, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Ukraine’s humanitarian aid warehouse in Beryslav, Kherson region, received a scheduled shipment of humanitarian aid that the team of volunteers planned to deliver to beneficiaries that day. At the same time, a drone hovering over the delivery site dropped three explosives that damaged vehicles loaned to the agency by local officials. ADRA Ukraine staff managed to run for cover a few seconds before the explosions and suffered only mild contusions.
Marina, one of the ADRA Ukraine volunteers, said, “It happened just before 8:00 a.m. We were delivering food parcels to the village of Novoberislav, where 344 people live. As we were loading the last box and getting ready to leave, we heard the sound of a drone. We looked up and saw it hovering directly above us. The boys shouted, ‘Take cover,’ and we all ran for cover. A second later the drone started dropping explosives. It dropped three explosives in one minute — one directly on the bonnet [hood] of a car, the second between the second car and a van, and the third in front of the transport van itself. Luckily, we were in the bunker by then, so everyone was alive and well, but I got a slight concussion from those explosions and still have a headache.”
After the attack, staff members discovered that three of the vehicles had punctured wheels and radiators, smashed windows, and broken some doors, so the aid could not be delivered to Novoberislav that day. Local officials, including the mayor of Novoberislav, had loaned ADRA the vehicles to assist in the distribution of food parcels to residents, given that the high volume of humanitarian aid would not allow it to be transported exclusively by ADRA Ukraine vehicles.
The humanitarian cargo itself was not damaged and was returned to the warehouse from the damaged vehicles. The charity’s staff called the police, and officers recorded all of the damage.
On August 14, United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine Denise Brown released a statement on the incident.
“People in the south of the country, including the Kherson and Odesa regions, have endured a particularly harsh weekend, as strikes left many civilians, including children, killed and injured,” Brown wrote. “The attacks also affected humanitarians and our capacity to support those suffering the consequences of the war. On Friday [August 11], our colleagues from the NGO ADRA had to stop the much-needed distribution of vital items after their warehouse and cars were damaged due to shelling in the Kherson region. Civilians and civilian infrastructure must be respected; they should never be a target.”
About ADRA Ukraine
ADRA Ukraine is part of the global network of ADRA International, which operates in more than 130 countries. The main task of ADRA is to support people in need and the most vulnerable segments of the population, improving their lives and making them more active and successful in overcoming difficult life situations.
In Ukraine, ADRA has been officially registered and has been implementing humanitarian projects since February 21, 1993. ADRA Ukraine helps victims of conflicts and disasters, Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and their families, orphans in orphanages and shelters, hospital patients, people in hot spots, the disabled and the elderly, and also it promotes a healthy lifestyle.