'We heard bombs behind us': Julia Haart reveals horrors of life on the frontline in war-ravaged Ukraine
ZAKARPATTIA OBLAST, UKRAIN: Bravely venturing into a warzone, Julia Haart recently spent several days volunteering on the frontlines in Ukraine. The star of 'My Unorthodox Life' faced bombs and mortar fire to bring vital aid to the formidable fighters and has recently shared a vivid account of her journey.
Julia joined forces with the Volunteer Ambulance Corps and Ukraine Friends, a US-based non-profit organization. The organization is committed to providing essential assistance to Ukraine, from delivering humanitarian aid to aiding refugees and helping with recovery and reconstruction.
"We are delivering ambulances, medical supplies, tourniquets, warm clothes, and toys for the children," Julia told the Daily Mail. The star also added, "The doctors are here to speak to the medical staff on the frontlines and get a better understanding of what they need and how to best help them." Discussing the reasons that prompted her to risk her own safety to support Ukraine, Julia noted, "My children thought I was nuts when I told them I was going to the frontlines.". She continued to add, "But I had to. My heart compelled me to. 2022 has been the most difficult year in my new life and fight for freedom. Freedom is not something I take for granted."
Julia also added, "I lived in a world where every aspect of my day was regulated, and my heart, mind and body were not mine to control," while adding later, "And then I realize, that's what drew me here." Even though Julia's own problems pale in comparison to the Russian invasion, she has found strength in her selflessness. The star noted, "fighting for others has given me the courage to fight for myself and my family." Julia was inspired by the people she met during her volunteer experience, from mayors and local officials to military personnel and doctors providing aid to the resistance. She also witnessed first-hand the powerful impact of the solar-powered lamps they were delivering. During a visit to the IDP center [internally displaced people center] in Nyzhni Vorota, Zakarpattia Oblast, the mother of four was also thrilled to be able to deliver several donated toys to the children there and called it a "magical moment." "Sitting there on the floor, covered in toys, watching their faces light up. The lights kept going off, the power would play with us, taunting us with light and warmth only to disappear a few minutes later and shroud us in darkness," she recalled.
The actress also recalled a particularly traumatic moment about a bombing, adding, "I woke up to news that a hotel three blocks from us had been bombed and decimated. One person was killed in the explosion," she explained, adding, "I remembered the bang and realized that's what it must have been, a bomb hitting the hotel down the street. Terrifying and terrible." Julia joined a team of volunteer doctors and other helpers to bring much-needed supplies to the front lines. She took part in a dangerous mission to deliver medications, tourniquets, and warm clothes to soldiers amid heavy shelling and bombing. At one point, Julia even drove an ambulance herself. She noted, "The drive to the front lines was completely surreal. I can't say exactly where we are, let's just [say] somewhere in eastern Ukraine. Everywhere we looked were bombed-out buildings, destroyed roads, towns, and villages decimated by shelling and explosions. Everywhere we looked, people were still going about their business, stepping over twisted shards of medal that blocked the streets with aplomb."
On another day of the trip, Julia had the opportunity to learn how to fire a machine gun. The star added, "We hear thunderstorms (bombs) behind us. The bunker we were in 30 minutes ago is no more! The Russians, who've bombed the building over and over again finally succeed in destroying the bunker."