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Project DYNAMO, an American civilian and ally rescue nonprofit based in Tampa, launched a mission that successfully evacuated twin baby boys and one baby girl from Kyiv on Monday, March 7.
The rescue mission, which the organization is calling “GEMINI,” was accomplished with help from two doctors, two neonatal specialists, one nurse and a Ukrainian ambulance crew — and comes 11 days after Russia launched its attack on Ukraine.
Ukraine’s capital city Kyiv remains an active war zone as Russian forces continue shelling. Many families have evacuated the city and country as a result.
In a press release, Project DYNAMO wrote that rescue volunteers report that they heard shelling “within earshot of the hospital” during their departure.
“During operational planning and execution, I was anxious because premature babies, under the best of circumstances in the best hospitals, are fragile and vulnerable,” Project DYNAMO Co-founder Bryan Stern told Fox News Digital. “When we put them in a war zone surrounded by Russian artillery and troops, that presents a complicated medical situation and makes it much scarier.”
“From an evacuation perspective, having to move these fragile babies through these war zones by vehicle, is wrought with peril and danger. I’m overcome with joy and happiness to be able to help the family by delivering Lenny and Moishe,” Stern continued. “The Project DYNAMO team, in concert with others, all worked together to deliver these bundles of joy to two happy families. Once the operation was complete, with happy parents, I felt like a delivery room doctor introducing children to their parents for the very first time.
The babies that Project DYNAMO evacuated were transported in incubators via ambulance, which received an escort made up of the nonprofit’s volunteers.
Project DYNAMO describes its team members as “humanitarians” and says many of them are “current and former members of the U.S. military” who have experience in “special operations and intelligence communities.”
The rescue vans traveled more than 700 miles west from Kyiv to Hospital PRO-FAMILIA in Rzeszow, Poland, where the American twin boys and the British baby girl were reunited with their families and respective national consular service providers.
Project DYNAMO reports that the GEMINI mission also led to the safe evacuation of two Ukrainian women and a British couple.
So far, the organization reports that 150 civilians have been rescued in 14 missions.
The nonprofit has received more than 14,000 evacuation requests from people around the world in relation to the Russia-Ukraine war, including the U.S., U.K, Canada, France, Romania, Nigeria, Mexico and Afghanistan.
Evacuation requests have also come from “citizens and residents from other European nations,” Project DYNAMO wrote in its release, “many of whom include children and the elderly and members of the Jewish community in Ukraine.”
Updated evacuation numbers from the United Nations state that more than two million people have fled Ukraine since Russia launched its attack on the country on Feb. 24, 2022.
The intergovernmental agency estimates that these evacuation numbers could potentially double.
A Monday press release from UNICEF says “hundreds of thousands” of Ukraine evacuees are children and many of them “are unaccompanied or have been separated from their parents or family members.”
As the fight between Russia and Ukraine shows no sign of slowing at this time, Project DYNAMO reports that it will continue evacuation operations.
It recommends that people in need of help submit Ukraine evacuation requests on projectdynamo.org and through the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
The privately run and donor-funded rescue organization derives its name from “Operation Dynamo,” the code name used during the Dunkirk evacuation operations of World War II from 1940.