A Canadian medic volunteering in Ukraine has published video showing the moment his vehicle struck what he determined to be a landmine as he drove into Russian-occupied territory in Donetsk Oblast to try to evacuate a group of civilians.
Brandon Mitchell from New Brunswick was among a group of several volunteers who, over several days in early August and amid ongoing and intense artillery fire, made several dashes into Russian-held areas of Soledar, a town on the frontline in Bakhmut district.
Speaking to Storyful, Mitchell said he and a second volunteer had just transported nine people from Russian-held territory into Ukrainian-held territory but were attempting to rush back to help more civilians escape from an embattled area around a factory owned by Knauf, a German multinational company.
Mitchell said he hit a mine as he drove into the Russian-held area, causing a blast that left his vehicle seriously damaged and forced him to abandon the evacuation mission. Storyful could not independently verify the cause of the explosion.
The second volunteer, who was driving another vehicle, continued on as planned, Mitchell said. “The [Ukrainian] army pulled me out to safety and eventually to hospital,” he wrote on Instagram, where he posted this footage of the incident.
Mitchell said the blast happened on August 6. That day, Donetsk Regional Police said Soledar was among several towns and villages targeted by Russian shelling. Credit: Brandon Mitchell/@ukraine_tbic via Storyful
- I do not have the courage of a Ukrainian. Do not have the courage of these boys. I would not do this alone, but I will not let them do it alone.
I'm done. Oh my god. My god. Oh my god.
I'm alive. I'm alive. Get my [INAUDIBLE]. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I tried my best.