Heroic Britons buy 56 seater bus and rescue refugees from war-torn Ukraine

Ukraine 'has basically won' against Russia says Suter

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In the last three weeks, the “Bus for Peace” has made four, 12 hour trips from the Ukrainian city of Uman to Medyka, a border town in Poland and has rescued more than 200 women, children and vulnerable people. Clifford Wilson, a language coach for the European Parliament told Express.co.uk that the bus seemed the most “natural way” that he could use his skills and experience in humanitarian aid to do something effective to help. Mr Wilson added that as a parent of a young boy himself, seeing the suffering of those trapped in Ukraine made him realise that if he and his family were in a similar situation, he would want somebody to help them. In order to carry out their rescue mission, Mr Wilson and his team have coordinated with Uman’s mayor, who in turn coordinates with other mayors and authorities.

Passengers on the bus have travelled from different parts of Ukraine, with some even making the journey from the besieged city of Mariupol, over 700 km from Uman.

As well as bringing people out of Ukraine, on the journey into Uman, the team fill their bus up with essential aid such as medicines, food and blankets.

Mr Wilson said that one of the most surprising things he has noticed since the mission began is the fact that he is not aware of anyone doing anything similar to help.

He said: “We’re an independent setup and we’d love to hook up with charities on the ground and things like that but we haven’t really seen anyone.

“We’ve seen some aid trucks but we haven’t seen anyone else like us.”

Mr Wilson said that at first the Ukrainians embarking on the bus are worried and some have had concerns about trafficking.

He said: “They’re concerned that we’re not going to treat them right, but we treat them with five stars. They’ve probably never been on a bus that looked after them so much.”

He added that the refugees are very said to leave their homes and families behind.

He said: “They’re very upset. First of all, because they’re saying goodbyes, the tears can go on for hours into the journey, almost silent.

“They don’t know when they will next see their families. They don’t know what’s ahead.”

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However, he said that throughout the journey, the refugees warm to their drivers and are so thankful for their help and for “saving their lives”.

He said: “Some of the refugees we have helped have said we have saved their lives.

“There was one lady who had just got out of Mariupol and she was crying and halfway through the journey she grabbed our hands and just said ‘you’re my friend, you’re my friend, you’re my friend’ and she was just so grateful. “

Mr Wilson and his team have now created a wider #Busesforukraine campaign and are searching for more drivers to enable them to help get more refugees to safety.

As the mission is run entirely on donations, the team are also looking for companies to sponsor bus purchases and for money to help cover the costs of fuel.

They have just confirmed their first driver, and are about to set off on their fifth journey into the centre of Ukraine.

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