A non-profit group is conducting a rescue operation for nearly two dozen American citizens in Ukraine, the group said Thursday.
Project Dynamo, a Florida-based nonprofit that stood up in August to aid in the evacuation of U.S. citizens and refugees from Afghanistan, is now operating inside Ukraine, where Russia launched an invasion Thursday.
“Right now, our team is working to get the first group of nearly two dozen American citizens and residents out of Ukraine. They are currently traversing the Ukrainian countryside and trying to make their way to an American embassy in a neighboring country,” said Project Dynamo spokesman James Judge. “The evacuation began minutes after our team on the ground physically felt the nearby explosions in Kyiv last night.”
The group reported a significant uptick in requests for evacuations since the invasion began.
The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Project Dynamo volunteers conducted a pre-deployment site survey in mid-January to coordinate resources and establish contacts in Ukraine in preparation for a wide-scale evacuation of U.S. citizens.
Bryan Stern, a co-founder of Project Dynamo, made a plea for donations to support the effort.
“It’s highly important to note, that besides our courageous volunteers, none of this would be possible without the financial sacrifices made by our very generous donors,” he said. “So, take this as a battle cry: We need continued help to keep funding these rescue efforts.”
The group has evacuated more than 200 U.S. citizens and 2,000 refugees from Afghanistan since forming in August.