James Spenceley on the road in Ukraine Credit: James Spenceley
It is estimated that, since February 2022, economic losses due to the war in Ukraine may have reached $600 billion.
One of the ambulances at St Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery in Kyiv. Credit: James Spenceley
After his grueling journey, Mr Spenceley is relieved to be home on Sydney’s northern beaches this weekend, with his Ukrainian-born wife Viktoriia and their two children Roman, 11, and Sienna, 7.
“We are so happy to have James back as everyone has been praying for his safe return,” said Viktoriia Spenceley, 36.
A damaged building photographed by James Spenceley in Ukraine. Credit: James Spenceley
“We are all very proud and our children cannot believe that their dad went to Ukraine. They couldn’t wait for him to come home.
James Spenceley with his wife Viktoriia and children Roman and Siena in Sydney. Credit: James Spenceley
“My mother has a blood pressure problem, there is no medicine. At night they have to turn off the lights because they don’t want the Russian army to know where they are.
Ms Paslawsky has so far overseen the collection and distribution of over $1 million in Australian medical aid for Ukraine.
James and Viktoriia Spenceley’s wedding in Sydney in 2007 Credit: James Spenceley
“Thank you to everyone who donated to Ukraine Crisis Appeal. We raised and spent funds for emergency medical aid that goes directly to the front lines there,” she says.
Liz Paslawsky helps coordinate Australian aid to Ukraine Credit: Liz Paslawski
In London, Australian medical supplies will be picked up by aid organization UK4UA and transported to Ukraine by vehicle convoys.
Pallets of Australian medical aid on their way to Ukraine Credit: Liz Paslawski
“The soldiers need sleeping bags, they need earplugs, because the shelling is so strong that they lose their hearing.
Viktoriia and James Spenceley at their home in Sydney Credit: SBS News / Sandra Fulloon
“What shocked me the most is that not only military installations are affected, but also shopping malls and building material companies.
The certificate given to James Spenceley by the Ukrainian army.
“I said ‘everyone post the hashtag Stand With Ukraine’. And I wanted to be here with Ukraine.