Monday 9 May 2022 01:23 AM Mail's meals lifeline: Villagers thank kind readers as donations fund vital ... trends now
Generous Daily Mail readers have been praised for their donations after the first of our 500,000 food boxes were handed out to families in wartorn Ukraine.
Villagers living in areas close to the Russian border were delighted to receive the first shipment of vital aid packages, which have been part-funded by our Mail Force appeal.
Readers have donated an astonishing £11million to help Ukrainians caught in Vladimir Putin’s cruel war.
The life-saving mission has despatched hundreds of thousands of boxes on an epic 2,000-mile journey from an East Midlands depot to families in the warzone.
Seeking answers: Evhen, Valentyna and Kateryna Mohelenets clutch a picture of Olexander who went missing in March
The ambitious initiative, which has been praised by Boris Johnson and President Volodymyr Zelensky, was joint-funded with the Ukrainian Embassy in London.
Vadym Prystaiko, Ukrainian ambassador to the UK, said: ‘I am delighted that our food boxes have been delivered to people in need who have faced unimaginable horrors on the front line of this war.
‘I am very grateful to the Mail readers and the Great British public for all of their support and their generosity... Ukrainians will never forget what you are doing to help us in our darkest hour.’
Families in the frontline village of Mezenivka, three miles from the border with Russia, were among the first to receive our boxes. When invading troops ordered the villagers to surrender their weapons in March, former border guard Olexander Mohelenets, 35, did as he was told and left home to hand over his hunting rifle.
But he never came home and has been missing ever since. Clutching his picture, his wife Kateryna sobbed: ‘He called and said he had been taken as a prisoner. We don’t know what happened to him.’
The family – including Olexander’s 62-year-old mother Valentyna – were forced to cower in their basement a few days later as Russian missiles destroyed their garage and outbuilding.
Olexander’s son Evhen, 17, told the Mail: ‘Only ruins remain. All the windows are