To Defenders of Freedom

The chief of the Dnipro-Chop train worked with no days off for 11 days to evacuate Ukrainians to the western regions

Kostyantyn Tokarchuk has been working at Ukrzaliznytsia for 14 years. But his most difficult work challenge began on the second day of Russia’s full-scale invasion. On February 25, the man took over the shift, which lasted 11 days. In that time, the company transported children and women from east, south, and central Ukraine to the western regions for free. Kostyantyn recalls that it was difficult both emotionally and physically. Later, he got used to it.

“I had about 140 people in a car with 54 seats. Sometimes the train conductors themselves decided with the crew who to take or not, because I simply could not physically get to their car due to the large number of passengers. I took three thousand people. Three and a bit more. At once. Emotionally, it just kills me. It kills me because there is nothing you can do to help people. Even in comfort—there is no way,” says Kostyantyn.

The man says that great support came from the volunteers who brought food to the passengers and the train crew. Despite these conditions, it was necessary to relocate as many Ukrainians as possible. He admits that he would have taken people to the train even under threat of dismissal, but this was not necessary. His duty was to help save lives, the lives of children and women, our whole future.

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