Northampton doctor who has helped set up four field hospitals in war torn Ukraine calls for town's help

"It's impossible to sit on the sidelines."

By Logan MacLeod
Wednesday, 16th March 2022, 4:10 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th March 2022, 6:38 pm

A doctor from Northampton is calling on the town to donate essential supplies to help Ukrainian refugees survive the war against Russia.

Doctor Alexei Titievski, 54, was born in the Soviet Union before it later became a part of Ukraine which is now known as Donetsk.

His mother, brother and nephew all live in Donetsk, which has a population of around 900,000 people and is currently being bombed by Russia.

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Doctor Alexei Titievski.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Alexei, along with help from the Combat Cellar in Northampton, has been organising for trucks to be filled with essential supplies including food, hygiene, first aid, and military supplies.

The doctor, who has been granted paid leave by St Andrew's Healthcare in Northampton to carry out his mission, says he has been helping to fill three to four trucks every week.

Alexei said: "I spoke to my family a few days ago, my mum told me a ballistic missile hit the centre of Donetsk, you can't imagine what it feels like to be there.

"Everything was crushed within 400 to 500 metres. It's like having missiles landing in the centre of Northampton. The Russians are doing this all across the country. They have broken all the laws of war.

"It's impossible to sit on the sidelines. I was just thinking how can I help Ukraine. I went to my boss and asked if I could help. St Andrew's were very, very supportive at a level I have never had before in previous jobs."

Alexei, who moved to Northampton from Finland in 2020, has dual nationality and is a citizen of both Finland and Ukraine.

Because of this, he has been able to alleviate communication barriers between British and Finnish charitable causes and the officials at the Ukrainian border.

Alexei has described his role in the operation as "the fixer", as he makes sure the supplies are delivered to the right people who need them. He has even been liasing with both the Finnish and Ukrainian governments throughout.

The psychiatrist has helped set up and supply four field hospitals in Ukraine for wounded refugees and soldiers.

A 'level one' hospital has been set up in Kyiv, which has 30 beds and around 25 surgeons to help wounded Ukrainian frontline soldiers; a 'level two' hospital has been set up in Ternobil, which has 100 beds; a 'level three' hospital has been set up in Lviv, which has 200 beds; a 'level four' hospital has been set up in Udhorod; a military hospital has also been set up in Mukachevo.

Alexei is still trying to secure 16 four by four, open back trucks, which will be used to extract soldiers from the frontline and into hospitals.

He is also appealing for medical supplies, medical volunteers, volunteers, food, and money.

When asked if he is afraid of dying in Ukraine, Alexei said: "I am afraid of not helping my country. Ukrainian people are a little bit strange. I am afraid, everyone is afraid but I am concentrating on what we are doing.

"I am prepared to do my work and if something happens, it happens. You can die crossing the street in Northampton."

Alexei has asked for people to donate to and to or to head down to number four Cheaney Drive in Northampton and drop off essentials.