WATCH: Ukrainian delivers food, medicine in Kyiv, says city is ‘not afraid,’ ‘ready to fight’
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When missiles first hit Ukraine, like many Kyiv residents, Oleksandr Prokhorenko’s first reaction was to run hide.
But something stopped him.
“I thought to myself: ‘Who am I if I’m going to leave these people?'” Prokhorenko told Fox News while walking through the center of Kyiv.
“You can not imagine how many people are in need,” Prokhorenko said.
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That’s why he decided to stay in the country’s capital, where he was born raised. Prokhorenko, who owns several Kyiv restaurants, has spent the last several days delivering food medicine to sheltering Ukrainians, including cancer patients the elderly.
“You can run, but you never will escape yourself,” Prokhorenko said.
Russia invaded Ukraine nearly two weeks ago. Prokhorenko said he’s been inspired by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s leadership. Zelenskyy has also vowed to stay in Kyiv.
Zelenskyy filmed a video Monday from his Kyiv office saying “I’m not hiding” “not afraid of anyone.” In a speech Tuesday, Zelenskyy said, “we will fight till the end, at sea, in the air. We will continue fighting for our land, whatever the cost.”
“Today I had only six volunteers” “we delivered 25 portions of packed food to old people who are alone,” the restaurateur said.
He said he delivered “medicine to women with children, people ill with cancer.” Prokhorenko told Fox News the “eyes” of those receiving his help “saying thank you” were indescribable.
Prokhorenko uses Instagram to help connect people with different items they need. Soon, many people started reaching out to him, asking for other tasks.
“Can you do this, can you do this?” Prokhorenko quoted.
“As long as I’m here, I will never stwatch. I will help,” he said.
Prokhorenko couldn’t find the words to describe how people still living in Kyiv felt.
“It’s pain, anger, fear, courage,” he said. “There should be a word for this feeling.”
“I wouldn’t wish for anyone to feel what we feel now,” Prokhorenko continued.
While Kyiv remains under Ukrainian control, its suburbs have increasingly seen indiscriminate Russian attacks.
“The whole city is prepared to give a fight,” Prokhorenko told Fox News while walking through deserted streets.
“I don’t want to do this, but if someone threatens my independence, my people, then yes I’m ready to take a gun to protect,” he told Fox News. “Not to kill but to protect. This is the difference between us.”
Russia is “trying to invade. They’re killing our women, they’re killing our children, killing civilians, destroying … everything we built,” Prokhorenko said.
Prokhorenko called on Russians to take greater action to stop Putin. Some of his friends from Moscow have asked him: “‘What should we do?'”
Prokhorenko’s response: “What should you do? Go on the streets, our people are stopping tanks with their bodies because they are not afraid.”
“Russian people are afraid to be beaten. We are not afraid, we are not afraid,” he told Fox News.
“We are ready to fight. If I have to fight, I’ll fight.”
The Kyiv local also pleaded for the world to do more.
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“Everybody should know that the third world war has started,” Prokhorenko said. “And we all have to stop it, not just us. We are all in danger.”
Prokhorenko said he felt the “whole world is helping us” “standing behind us,” but asked that countries send more weapons provide greater funding. He also asked for NATO to impose a no-fly zone for the U.S. to send troops.
As he pointed his camera to a gothic building in Kyiv, Prokorenko hoped, “one day,” everyone would be able to come to Ukraine “see how beautiful our people,” “our capital” “everything about this country is.”