The manager of the Cortuhondo Group visited the microphones of 'De cara al mundo' on Onda Madrid

Julio Suárez: "My son puts his life on the line every day looking for medicines and food in Ukraine"

Julio Suárez

In the latest edition of 'De cara al mundo', Onda Madrid's radio programme, we interviewed Julio Suárez Rodríguez, manager of the Cortuhondo Group, a Spanish company based in Kherson, Ukraine. The CEO of the Cortuhondo Group confirmed how the Ukrainians are living after this first week of war. On the other hand, Suárez pointed out the important work being done by a group of Ukrainian volunteers, including his son, to help get food and medication to all those affected by the war. 

You are now in Spain, but part of your family is in Ukraine, how are they all doing?

Indeed, my son is there, as well as uncles and cousins of my family on my wife's side, and we are very worried because the city of Kherson is occupied by Russian troops. Tonight convoys of vehicles with Russian people came in to prepare a demonstration in the main square of Kherson to say that Kherson wants to be Russian. 

It is good to be able to unmask this kind of trickery, right now propaganda is an essential element that is being used by Putin's government in all sectors. 

That's right, it's the same thing that happened in the Donbass area, they brought Russians there to say that the area wanted to be Russian and in this way they managed to occupy it, now they intend to do the same with Kherson. This morning, the director of Ukrsibbank in Kherson told us that this demonstration is going to take place and that they are going to bring boxes of food to distribute it among the people, to film it for Russian television and to publish there that they are coming as saviours. Moreover, they have suspended all Ukrainian channels in the city of Kherson, there is only the Russian one, it's that sad.

Julio Suárez

What they are trying to do is to blockade the city so that the morale of the citizens can be affected. What does your family tell you, are they in good spirits?

My son is working tirelessly to find medicines and food to take to the hospitals, he is also helping families. My wife's cousin is working as a nurse in the hospital attending to the wounded and people in need, the concern is at its peak. The work they are doing is exhausting and at the same time they are very scared. 

Do they have the capacity to continue defending themselves or, on the contrary, has the city fallen?

In principle, the city is in the hands of the Russians, unless there is a fight by the Ukrainian army to recover this city, at the moment it is unfeasible for them to be free. Other cities where fighting is raging are Odessa, which is Ukraine's main seaport.

Julio SuárezThis is Russia's next target, according to the reports... 

The problem is that the southern part of Ukraine, which leads to the Black Sea, is the cherry on top for the Russians, they manage to isolate Ukraine from the sea and it is an area they have been targeting from the beginning. 

You are not at all positive about the possibility of a negotiated solution to the conflict...

Not really. The only formula for success that exists is that the people around Putin can take some action to stop this situation, but from the outside I think it is difficult.

From the information your relatives give you, have the Russians suffered many casualties in the seizure of Kherson?

In principle, without knowing the exact number, they have had quite a few casualties. Not only that, on a general level in Ukraine there is a big problem, and that is that there are more than 4,000 Russian dead and they are asking them to go and remove these bodies with humanitarian flags, and they are totally disinterested in these dead. Ukraine has been asking for help in this regard for several days, it is still cold and the bodies are still there, but if they are not removed, they will have to make a mass grave because they have no other choice. 

One of the horrors of war, the corpses, and they leave a physical and moral mark. We all hope that the families of these Russians will be able to recover the bodies, because they are also the ones who are suffering the ravages of this war, and we should not demonise all the Russian people just because their president has launched this invasion.

Indeed, most of them are 16, 17, 18 year olds who don't want to be there, they are young people who even their relatives in Russia don't know that they are fighting in Ukraine.

Can you take the opportunity to make a request...

Basically it's about the following, in this conflict there is a problem that nobody has noticed, the Spanish people are turning to support Ukraine by sending aid. This aid is reaching the Ukrainian border with Poland, in the north, 1,400 kilometres from Kherson, in the south of Ukraine, the roads are interrupted, bridges have collapsed and in between, the army is in the way, it is unfeasible to send food to these regions. A large group of volunteers, including my son, are risking their lives every day searching for medicines and food, they are also buying wheat and the necessary machinery to make flour and bread, we have spent all the money we had in Ukraine. From here we are sending more, and also all the contributions that are being made by the companies that collaborate with us and friends of the family who are helping us. The only way we have right now to help my neighbours is to send money to my son's account there so that the group of volunteers can buy everything that is required, risking their own lives. 

Let's hope that your son will be able to continue this wonderful work and that we can continue to help him from here....

I would like to share with you the link we have on Facebook so that anyone who wishes to collaborate can do so with the certainty that this help will go directly to the Ukrainian people.


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