Lviv, Ukraine, Mar 30 (EFE).- The martial law imposed in Ukraine since Russia launched a full-scale invasion last month also includes a nationwide ban on alcohol sales, forcing breweries to re-invent themselves.
From making Molotov cocktails, catering food for refugees to raising funds with the sale of t-shirts, the Pravda craft brewery on the outskirts of Lviv has found a new purpose.
“We need it now, we need to support these people who are coming from burnt houses or from the cities that are on fire, we need to help them. We need to do all that we can to support these people, these are also Ukrainians and you never know what will happen to us and to our family the next day,” Taras Maselko, head of public relations at Pravda, ‘Truth’ in Ukrainian, tells Efe.
Days after Russian troops entered Ukrainian cities, the brewery started making Molotov cocktails with glass bottles and distributed them to Ukrainian armed forces.
“In less than a week we made more than 2,000 Molotov cocktails, many more than we needed,” Taras says while pointing at the brewery’s most popular beer ‘Putin Huilo’ (Putin Asshole).
Meanwhile, Pravda’s kitchen was busy preparing meals for the thousands of refugees who fled cities affected by the war including Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol, Mykolaiv and Zaporizhia.
While many refugees crossed into neighboring Poland, some 80 kilometers from Lviv, over 200,000 have remained in the western Ukrainian city, taking shelter in schools, sports stadiums and student residences.
Alex, 29, went from working in Pravda’s franchise department to making sandwiches for up to 11 hours a day.
He is one of the brewery’s 2,000 employees who have stepped into new roles to help Ukraine in its fight against Russia.
“I think everybody should do everything they can do at the moment, a lot of people have lost their houses, probably people, some friends or relatives. Food is the last thing they should think about,” he tells Efe.
While 49-year-old Oxana’s job remains in the kitchen, the purpose of her cooking has drastically changed.
Since NGO World Kitchen Program joined Pravda, the brewery’s kitchen churns out more than 27,000 servings of hot food every day.
“I think that for Ukrainians this union and the support we give each other is not new. It is not new that we have all risen up to defend our cities and our country,” Oxana says. EFE