Medyka, on the border with Ukraine

Medyka is the main crossing point for Ukrainians fleeing, and has seen between 20,000 and 40,000 refugees per day since the Russian attack began. Mainly women and children since, from the age of 16, men are not allowed to leave their country.

A 500-metre No Man’s Land separates the two countries, half a kilometer from the Polish army and volunteers of all kinds and origins, who assist each family day and night. It’s a shopping cart ballet filled with a few suitcases, plastic bags stuffed with blankets, cats, dogs, children wrapped up in ski suits. Soldiers take turns carrying the baby of a mother who is visibly exhausted and who, like all the others, find themselves caught in the line of those waiting for a bus. On site, answers to everything: a medical tent held by Pompier Humanitaire Français, pots of hot soups, an American who makes pancakes 24/7, telephone operators who distributes prepaid cards, but also a veterinary tent, braziers, piles of clothing and materials of all kinds from all over the world. There are also other initiatives a little more at the margin, such as this Santa who distributes stuffed animals, a Scotsman who makes blue cotton candy, a pianist. But also a help tent run by Polish royalists, a church that distributes Bibles translated into Ukrainian, and Breton separatists, as devoted to the cause as a bit displaced…

At the end of the corridor, Ukrainians get on a bus to Tesco, 20 kilometres away, a shopping mall transformed into a temporary refugee camp. From there, they get on other buses, hundreds of buses, coming from all over Europe and taking them far away from their lives.