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News Analysis May 30, 2022 9:45 PM EST

Posobiec in Ukraine: On the night train to Odessa

As they started to cross the border from Poland into Ukraine, Posobiec saw "small villages with defensive outposts, barricades, volunteers" standing guard, armed with AK-47s.

Posobiec in Ukraine: On the night train to Odessa
The Post Millennial The Post Millennial

Jack Posobiec, along with his brother Kevin, were able to gain access to Ukraine via train over the weekend as Posobiec was finishing up his trip to Budapest, Davos, and Geneva. They encountered bombed-out buildings in the war-torn city of Mykolaiv and experienced the bustling if tense and on-edge city of Lviv.

Posobiec was on the night train from Mykolaiv to Odessa when he recorded his latest episode of Human Events Daily, powered by Turning Point USA, with the sounds of the train audible behind his voice. It was only once Posobiec got to Poland, to visit his family's home, that he found an entry point into Ukraine.

"I didn't want to not stop and visit my family's home country of Poland. So we stopped by to visit Poland, and to see family for the weekend. And while we were there, I was reaching out to a few contacts on the ground, local journalists, local activists, who said essentially that if we wanted to, they would be able to get us into Lviv.

Jack and Kevin Posobiec (r-l)

"And then get the necessary approvals to travel all the way forward from the Lviv— where it's quite safe— into Odessa, and then into Mykolaiv. From Odessa to Mykolaiv, you're only a little bit further away from Kherson, probably about 15, 20 miles, at the closest point, from Russian-occupied territory. And when we saw that opportunity, and saw that it was being done safely and conducted in a legitimate, proper manner, with proper authorization, the ability to get us through checkpoints, we decided to take them up on the offer," Posobiec reported of his journey.

Mykolaiv

The two brothers boarded the overnight train to Odessa where they met with local journalists and got a feel for the city. The train, Posobiec said, was "completely sold out," full of people heading back into Ukraine.

The lines to get into the war-torn nation are long, stretching for upwards of ten miles in some places, as Ukrainians who fled after Russia's February 24 invasion have begun to make their way back home, to see what damage was done and remake their lives on this new terrain.

As they started to cross the border from Poland into Ukraine, Posobiec saw "small villages with defensive outposts, barricades, volunteers" standing guard, armed with AK-47s, "sometimes wearing a uniform, sometimes wearing kind of makeshift uniforms."

And there were "soldiers everywhere," on the train, running customs checkpoints. "Soldiers were ubiquitous throughout the entire time that we traveled in and out of Ukraine," he reported.

Soldiers asked for passports aboard the train, and when a Russian showed his passport, soldiers removed him from the car in which Posobiec was traveling, and was not seen again after that.

After Odessa, they headed to Lviv, which is "about 25 percent American," Posobiec reports. Activists and those in "on-the-ground networks" told him that the city is "predominantly American-run" with Ukrainians and Americans working together. In some instances this work is being carried out through faith-based networks, and some military base networks, by which he means "veterans, volunteers, that type of thing, not official US military." Lviv was full of humanitarian aid stations, as well.

Posobiec was surprised to find that the trains were running in western Ukraine all the way to the border with Russia. Given reporting in the US, it's hard to get an understanding of the existing infrastructure in the country since the invasion. He details the humanitarian supply lines as a "hodgepodge" and "patchwork" of efforts.

Posobiec details accounts that have not been reported elsewhere in US press, such as how the Ukrainian draft and civilian-military training operations work, the arms trade among civilians, and the atmosphere among families on the ground.

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