Ukraine trucking company plays crucial role in war against Russia

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Anastasiia Prychyna, who along with her father runs one of the largest transportation and logistics companies in Ukraine, called her truckers "heroes" and said the entire trucking industry is playing a fundamental role in fighting Russia.

"Now, all of our resources go towards helping our country win this," Prychyna, 27, told FOX Business over the weekend. "I really want everyone in the world to know, transportation drivers who transport goods and services are heroes just like the military and the paramedics."

Agrotep LTD was started by Prychyna's grandfather, who died earlier this year, before Russia started its Ukraine invasion. 

"I remember in 2014, when Russia invaded Donbas and Luhansk, my grandfather donated 10 trucks with semi-trailers to the Ukrainian army, and today we officially did the same thing too, we also gave 10 trucks with semi-trailers."

Prychyna has stayed in her apartment in Kyiv, from where she has worked every day since the start of the war, coordinating refrigerated trucks to pick up food and other humanitarian aid from Europe and distribute it throughout Ukraine. "I personally do not have a shelter where I live," she said. "The shelters have bad network connection, so I have decided not allow myself to go… because I wouldn’t know if any of my drivers need navigation help."

Of the nearly 400 employees of Agrotep, only 10 have stopped working, she said. "My drivers, their families are in shelters, they know their wives and young children are in danger and they still come and do their jobs, they know how important this is."

Agrotep LTD has helped transport food and other humanitarian aid to parts of Ukraine that need it most.

"So many of our workers have families," she continued, "but they understand that if our company would stop working and we didn't do our job for 10 days, probably some people wouldn't get food… Not everyone has food saved. They go to the store and they find no food, we are the only way they will get food. When the war will be stopped, if we would win, I just want everyone to know about the heroic actions of the drivers that we have." 

In her role as co-owner of the company, Prychyna has been responsible for managing its drivers. "Some of the workers are in Kyiv, but sometimes their family is somewhere that has been bombed, so they will call and say they can’t come in today because they have to go rescue their family from this place. So then, we have to arrange someone else to do their job until they are back online." 

Prychyna said her employees often have found themselves worried for the safety of their family members in cities that suffered attacks. "When they blow up the bridges, they cut the internet, and so, you’re asking yourself if your family there is alive or dead. And then, you still have to go to work."


Nearly all of Agrotep LTD’s employees have continued to work during the war, Anastasiia Prychyna said.

The company has had to restructure to meet the new circumstances. "We have a new department to monitor the roads, a driver is on the phone with a person in a bunker with their laptop and the person is telling them which road to go down, ‘here you can’t go, the bridge has exploded, turn left, turn right.’ It’s like a live GPS that changes every minute."

On Monday, Russia’s Ministry of Defense announced the establishment of humanitarian corridors throughout Ukraine and a cease-fire to allow Ukrainians to flee cities especially hard hit by shelling. However, "these humanitarian corridors are still unsafe because the Russians, they still just shoot," Prychyna said. "It means nothing."


Reports coming from the country confirmed Prychyna’s fears, "The Russian side is not holding to the cease-fire," said Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office.

Even if the Russians were to respect the cease-fire along the designated routes, Prychyna still insists they're useless. "You walk this corridor to another city and that city gets bombed. You can move, but you’ll be bombed in, like, 30 minutes."

Prychyna said drivers have been in touch with a department operating like a “live GPS.”

In the past days, after work, Prychyna and her employees have loaded up their cars with donated items from the companies whose goods they used to transport as their business. 

"One worker took his own car with donations from our clients and we went around Kyiv to the Ukrainian soldiers," she recounted. "I called him when he got home and I asked him, ‘Do you have anything left for yourself?’ And he said, ‘No, but I’m OK.'" 

She continued, "He said other people have shared so much with his family that he gave away everything he could to others. He has his 3-year-old niece living with him who fled a city that was being bombed. I told him he could have at least saved a brick of chocolate for his niece. But he said the soldiers probably needed it more." 

Prychyna said this type of selflessness, on display daily by Ukrainians since the beginning of the invasion, has helped the country resist the Russians. "It's that support that is really strong in Ukraine and this is what [Russian President Vladimir] Putin didn't understand."


She also said the U.S. and Europe should be doing more to intervene in the crisis. "Ukrainians think Europe and the U.S. want us to heroically die. But we don’t want to die. We will do everything to stay alive."

Despite feeling overwhelmed and terrified, Prychyna said she is planning for life after the chaos. "I told my workers, after the war, we will make a huge banquet and they will drink as much as they want, they will eat as much as they want… we will all finally eat."

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