On October 20, an award ceremony for the European Citizen’s Prize winners took place in the Foyer European. This year, 216 applicants submitted their projects, and ‘Ukraine is Calling’, a project by LUkraine, was one of the 25 winners. While the list of winners was announced in June, the award ceremonies are taking place in October in Luxembourg and Brussels. The European Citizen’s Prize, awarded annually by the European Parliament, recognizes initiatives that contribute to European cooperation and the promotion of shared values. The distinguished guests M. Marc Angel, Vice-President of the European Parliament; Mme. Isabel Wiseler-Lima, Quaestor of the European Parliament; Mme. Tilly Metz, a Member of the European Parliament; Mr. Christoph Schroeder, European Parliament Liaison Office in Luxembourg congratulated LUkraine at the ceremony.
‘Ukraine is Calling’ is a fundraising campaign that aims to procure 112 emergency vehicles, including fire trucks and ambulances, to save lives during the war in Ukraine. Russian troops deliberately target rescue crews, resulting in significant casualties among emergency responders. Since February 2022, Ukraine has lost over 500 ambulances and more than 1,700 fire trucks. To date, ‘Ukraine is Calling’ has provided Ukraine with a total of 47 emergency vehicles. This includes 8 vehicles donated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Luxembourg and the delivery of 14 armored ambulances to frontline territories.
Nicolas Zharov, President of LUkraine, stated, “This award is not just a recognition; it’s a testament to solidarity and the common European and Ukrainian values of freedom and democracy. We are united by our diversity and shared humanity, which will guide Ukraine through these dark times. We dedicate this award to all the partners, donors, volunteers, and European citizens who have contributed to the project, as well as to our team and, of course, to the heroes without weapons, the rescuers of Ukraine, who, under inhumane and life-threatening conditions, have tirelessly saved innocent lives.”
“I would like to reassure everyone that Ukraine is not forgotten, and in every session and meeting in the European Parliament, Ukraine is on our agenda. Specifically, we discuss Ukrainian women and children refugees in Europe and the financial aid for Ukraine in 2024–2027, which totals up to 50 billion euros. We are pleased that Ukraine has the status of a candidate for the European Union and will support its efforts to meet all the criteria required for membership. This award is very well deserved, and we encourage you to keep working toward this ambitious goal!”, emphasized M. Marc Angel, Vice-President of the European Parliament.
A team of rescuers from Ukrainian Emergency Services in Kyiv also attended the event. Oleksandr Korotun, Colonel of Civil Protection and Deputy Head of the Main Department of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in Zaporizhzhia region, emphasized, “Since the full-scale invasion by Russia, Ukrainian rescuers have been involved in more than 320,000 rescue operations, saving over 12,000 lives. We are often the first responders to Russian attacks, and our teams frequently come under secondary attacks, resulting in the loss of our colleagues. Additionally, we continually lose firetrucks, emergency vehicles, and other equipment. We deeply appreciate the help Luxembourg has already provided us and urge you to continue supporting Ukraine. Together, we are on the path to victory.”
As part of our awareness-raising efforts, LUkraine has displayed exhibits featuring fire trucks and ambulances destroyed by Russian troops in Ukraine across Europe, including Luxembourg, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UK. The final destination is planned for The Hague, the Netherlands, in front of the International Criminal Court. This symbolizes our collective commitment to ensuring that all war crimes are punished, and justice is restored.
The project gains the support of the Representation of the European Commission in Luxembourg, the Embassy of Ukraine in the Kingdom of Belgium, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Luxembourg, the Ministry of Mobility and Public Works, the Directorate of Defense and the Grand-Ducal Fire and Rescue Corps of Luxembourg.