Home LAST NEWS The Clermontais Aurélien Martinez fights for the Ukrainians

The Clermontais Aurélien Martinez fights for the Ukrainians

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Trapped at the start of the war near kyiv, he struggles for his wife’s country.

Amid the tires and the smell of emptying his motorcycle garage in Clermont-l’Hérault, Aurélien Martinez answers the phone: “I do not have the time”, he announces each time he picks up.

Stuck for three weeks in a bunker in Gostomel, near kyiv, he found his garage and his family in Clermont.

And his daily life is not easy. Between his work, the association he created to help Ukrainians and the constant solicitations of social networks, he does not take the time to breathe. “I tried to get back to work at 100% but I’m only at 40%, my mind is elsewhere.”

As soon as he crossed the border, he was already thinking about how he was going to be able to come to the aid of people still trapped in Ukraine. “We can’t sit idly by. I can’t go back to life as if nothing had happened”he said to his mother on the way home.

As soon as he arrived in Clermont-l’Hérault, just three weeks ago, Aurélien found his employees at Activ’Moto. “They were overwhelmed during my absence, my secretary had to work hard”, says the young entrepreneur. But for him, everyday life will never be the same again.

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“I’m always suspicious, muffled noises surprise me much more easily”he regrets, and adds: “We no longer worry about small things when we know that 2,500 km away, people are being shot.”

Laughing, he takes the example of people who complain about the wait at the supermarket checkout: “I can’t blame them, they didn’t go through what I went through.”

Aurélien highlights the habit of Ukrainians to have a well at home and a cellar full of canned food. “That’s what allowed us to resist all this time without starving. We ate a lot of pickles”he says with humor.

More than 50 refugees placed in foster families

In mid-March, his wife, in-laws and other Ukrainian civilians eventually reached kyiv, not yet in Russian hands, and then headed for the border. On the other side, her mother was waiting for her as well as journalists from BFM whom she had taken care to contact.

It is thanks to this that Aurélien and his wife as well as another Ukrainian family were able to reach Poland.

But once safe, Aurélien struggled to found his family-run association, which was facilitated by the dissemination of his story in the media.

“I have received thousands of messages since I returned: people who have heard from me and who offer their help. Today, we are in contact with 170 host families and we have placed more than 50 refugees since my return and some are still on the way.”

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More than reception, the association gives papers for stays in France and directs civilians on site so that they can move to the least dangerous areas.

“People have even contacted us to offer jobs and provide care for refugees.”

On several occasions, the young mechanic is delighted with the solidarity shown by everyone. “It’s moving, this mutual aid.”

“We were surrounded by Russian tanks”

Aurélien Martinez and his wife Iryna were stranded for two weeks in Gostomel near kyiv, where they were on vacation. They lived through the bombs falling from the sky destroying his in-laws’ house just above

their heads, the tanks and the mines that blocked them in a bunker. It was constant fear, cold and hunger.

“We were surrounded by Russian tanks, we couldn’t move, and without electricity, we had no heating, and very little means of communicating with the outside because we couldn’t charge our phones. end, I didn’t even know what day it was anymore.”

Information on www.facebook.com/aurelien.martinez.77

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