TAMPA, Fla. — With Russia launching an invasion on Ukraine, many people are looking for a way out to safety. A Tampa-based non-profit is in the country working rescue missions to get Americans out of harm’s way.
In Ukraine, rescue teams are working around the clock under the toughest conditions.
“It’s truly scary. We woke up to missile strikes,” said Bryan Stern.
Stern is in Ukraine. He’s the co-founder of Project Dynamo, a donor-funded and privately-run rescue organization focused on rescuing Americans and allies from war zones to safety.
“Once we get logistics lined up, transportation lined up, and some other things lined up, we make contact with you, give you a rally point where to go, and you show up, you get on our vehicles with our drivers, and then get you to safety best we can,” said Stern.
The Tampa-based non-profit says it started exfiltrating another busload of Americans out of Kyiv Friday morning. Stern explains they’re taking people to friendly, neighboring countries who’ve been generous enough to take them in.
“Most people are scared to death or very upset. One of those two or both,” said Stern.
In the past 48 hours, the organization says it’s received more than 1,000 requests for exfiltration from various parts of Ukraine. As for how long they’ll be doing missions in the country, Stern explains their operational capacity is based on three things: a need, funding, and the threat environment.
“If the threat environment dictates that we can’t operate, then we have to figure out another way to do it, which we’ve seen in our rescues in Afghanistan,” said Stern. “We’ve had a lot of experience with that.”
Until then, their mission continues to help people in need.
“We are Americans, and we stand by our friends, and we also don’t let this happen to people. We just don’t,” said Stern.
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