Earlier this year, Sean Sutton, MAG’s International Communications Manager and photojournalist, traveled to Ukraine on assignment for MAG. He went with a team surveying the situation on the ground and determining how MAG could help.
In these audio recordings, he shares his reflections on how the latest conflict is affecting communities there.
He saw the devastating impact that the conflict in Ukraine had on families and how people were coming together to help in whatever way they could through this tragedy.
The use of explosive weapons in populated areas of Ukraine since the 2022 invasion has led to significant contamination. The true impact of these weapons is not currently known due to the active and ever-changing nature of the situation but these accounts give a small insight into the difficulties families are facing.
Working with our partners, the Ukrainian Deminers Association, we have teams on the ground delivering urgent risk education to help ensure families know the risks and how to keep themselves safe from landmines and unexploded bombs.
While unexploded bombs lay scattered across Ukraine, communities who are surviving among the ruins have come together to help one another. In this first audio clip, Sean shares a touching observation of the volunteers on hand in Ukraine.
"When people come to the train station there’s people at hand to take babies, carry babies, bring water, help people out."
Two days before Sean visited Ukraine, several missiles were fired at a railway bridge in Lviv. They missed and hit a tire shop instead. In his next clip, he describes a witness account from an employee of the tire shop and the devastating consequences of this bombing.
“One of the people working there said he was in the kitchen and he looked out the window and saw the missile coming.”
During his visit, Sean saw the destruction of the invasion first-hand. He discusses his encounter with a Ukrainian mother, and the dangerous journey she made travelling over 600 miles from Zaporizhzhia to Lviv.
“They got through, just delighted to be through and living in a gymnasium, trying to get permission to cross the border into Poland.”
In this clip, Sean describes his first-hand observation on the vast amount of signs warning people about mines on his short visit.
“Houses would have 'mine' written on them and stuff. That could be booby traps, it could be a piece of unexploded ordnance, an unexploded rocket, or something inside it."
Here, Sean describes how this playground in Irpin, Ukraine has been destroyed by cluster bombs.
There's lots of cluster fragmentation and there's lots of splashes from explosions on the concrete."
"I have seen first-hand the impact of MAG’s work on communities across the world. Sadly, Ukraine is now one of these countries that desperately needs our help.
With supporters like you, we can achieve this lifesaving work. Together, we can rebuild the lives of the communities in Ukraine devastated by this war," Sean Sutton, MAG International Communications Manager and photojournalist.