Front Line Evacuations

We evacuate civilians from dangerous regions in Ukraine and Afghanistan and bring them to safety in Moldova, Austria and Germany.

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23,500 civilians evacuated since March 2022

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 marked a dramatic escalation of an eight-year conflict that had been largely confined to the east of the country. This triggered a massive humanitarian crisis. Millions had to leave Ukraine and seek refuge in Europe and the United States. By the end of 2022, about 7.9 million people had fled from Ukraine and sought protection in Europe.

On March 4, 2022, Andreas Tölke, founder of Be an Angel, arrived in Moldova with a team of three people, marking the beginning of a new chapter for our organization. The operations started with chartered buses to evacuate refugees from southern Ukraine to Moldova and subsequently to Germany. By August, he had moved his residence to Moldova and then to Odesa.

Thanks to years of relationships and experience with key institutions and authorities, Be an Angel was able to bring Ukrainian refugees to Germany and, upon arrival, register them in collaboration with local state authorities, ensure accommodation, and promptly provide medical care in emergencies. The elimination of the Königsteiner Key posed significant challenges for the team: the nationwide, central management of the Federal Office for Migration (BAMF) left the notification of reception capacities to the individual state authorities. Consequently, the Be an Angel team had to individually query each federal state for available reception capacities to ensure proper accommodation.

In Ukraine, a Be an Angel network was established over the following months with headquarters in Odesa, Ukraine, and Chisinau, Moldova.

A system was implemented to collaborate with the regional administrations of Oblast Mykolaiv and Zaporizhzhia, cities that were besieged and heavily bombarded.

During the bus evacuations, the Be an Angel team traveled along the front line beyond Kharkiv to within 40 kilometers of the border with the Russian Federation to evacuate people at great personal risk. The team was repeatedly caught by surprise by rocket attacks and often put themselves in danger during their humanitarian missions.

The buses were chartered in Chisinau, driven into Ukraine, and evacuated civilians there. The passengers were housed in emergency shelters in Moldova before departing for Germany.

In Germany, a local team coordinated the accommodation and housing for the people. Each refugee received individual care, vital medical treatment, and assurance of a contact person, especially during the first days of arrival. Many of the people from Ukraine had never been abroad and did not speak any foreign language. Typically, we evacuate elderly people and women with children, most of whom are traumatized. Three teams in three countries coordinated the activities seven days a week for up to twelve hours a day. The largest group evacuation involved around 260 people who were gathered from southern Ukraine in the capital of Moldova and, after a short recovery period, traveled on to three different German cities in four buses.

Since March 4, 2022, our team, confirmed by the crisis management team of the Moldovan government, has evacuated 22,500 civilians from front-line regions and brought them to safety in the European Union and the United States. Our commitment to providing refugees with appropriate accommodation, rather than placing them in large halls and tents for initial reception, is evidenced by the fact that none of our bus evacuations had Berlin as their destination, nor will they in the future. As a Berlin-based aid organization, we maintain intensive exchanges with all authorities in the capital and are well aware of the burden on the city.

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