'I got tired of feeling useless' over Ukraine - Ron Mark

Source: 1News

Ron Mark says he decided to take matters into his own hands and head to Ukraine after getting "tired of feeling useless" after Russia invaded the country.

Mark served in the New Zealand army and went to become a NZ First MP and the defence minister.

He's recently been involved in a mission delivering aid to some of Ukraine’s hardest-hit areas.

It’s now been nearly three months since Russia invaded its neighbour and more than 3000 civilians have been killed in the conflict, according to the United Nations.

Mark says his initial efforts to drum up supplies for the Great Commission Society, an evangelist group, were unsuccessful and so he decided to take matters into his own hands.

"I don’t like failing and failure is not what Ukraine needs right now," Mark told Breakfast. "Ukraine needs people’s help and support."

He says the only way he could do something positive was to raise some money himself and to go to Ukraine itself to find out from the authorities how he could be of help.

Mark describes it as one of the most valuable things he’s done in his life but when asked what the situation was like on the ground, he says it is "worse than you could possibly imagine".

"We went through a village just outside Bucha – absolutely, totally destroyed."

"It just leaves you quite cold and quite numb, because you know what happened to those people."

Many atrocities in the war carried out by Russia came to light last month including in the town of Bucha, near Kyiv.

Mark says he has "no time" for Russian President, Vladimir Putin, but he feels for the Russian soldiers and their mothers who have been "vaporised" in tanks.

"You know the mothers are never going to find out from Mr Putin that they died, how they died, the fact that there are no remains to bring home."

"That’s just the human tragedy in this whole, horrible adventure of Mr Putin’s that’s just absolutely disgusting."

Mark says the operation he’s involved in includes seven different convoys coming in from different countries, including Hungary and Romania.

But in order for them to continue providing essential supplies, the team needs gear like satellite phones, body armour and helmets.

Mark says money for this can be given via the Great Commission Society, the details of which can be found on his social media profiles.