Utah man helping in Ukraine describes devastation in Bucha area

Apr 14, 2022, 5:11 PM | Updated: Jun 20, 2022, 1:23 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – A US Marine veteran from Kaysville toured Bucha Wednesday, the site of widely-reported atrocities committed against Ukrainian civilians.

He’s been delivering humanitarian aid and helping refugees escape the war for more than a month.

Quan Nguyen and other humanitarian volunteers have delivered critical supplies and comfort to Ukrainians.

In a video interview from a town near Bucha, the combat veteran said the destruction is overwhelming.  Yet, the Ukrainians are rebuilding.

“This has been the most destruction that I have seen,” Nguyen said.

That and the senseless killing of so many Ukrainians weighed heavily on Quan Nguyen’s mind as he toured Bucha with other volunteers.

“Today has been a tougher day just because you know that the areas that you drove through the bodies were there,” he said.

The streets were strewn with civilian vehicles riddled with bullets.  He shared pictures of those cars and bombed out buildings and schools.

“Here was a family just trying to escape during one of the times where they said people can evacuate, and they get shot at,” he said.

There are also disabled and charred tanks left by retreating Russian troops.

“The infrastructure was pretty much torn up by the Russian troops. So, I figured I at least have these drinking straws,” he said.

Quan Nguyen, a marine veteran from Kaysville, and a friend of his hold water purification pens that they passed out in Bucha.  (Used by permission, Quan Nguyen) Nguyen shared shared pictures of bullet riddled cars and bombed out buildings and schools. (Used by permission, Quan Nguyen) Nguyen shared shared pictures of bullet riddled cars and bombed out buildings and schools. (Used by permission, Quan Nguyen)

Nguyen handed out water purification pens donated by friends in Utah.

“What better place than Bucha where they have no electricity, no running water,” the veteran said.

At the same time, the Ukrainians were trying to determine what atrocities were committed.  He said war crimes investigators and prosecutors are interviewing people and taking pictures in the city.

“That’s what stood out for me: just how many teams were out there investigating, and how important it is to the Ukrainian people that these war crimes are investigated, documented,” Nguyen said.

He and several friends are still helping families flee areas under attack.

He’s also meeting with a group of regional leaders to find out how they can help the most.

“You see just shock, horror and just hoping that those perpetrators are eventually held responsible by the international criminal court,” he said.

Their organization is named It stands for Task Force 824. August 24 is the Ukrainian Independence Day.

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Utah man helping in Ukraine describes devastation in Bucha area