A Ukrainian cargo ship captain has issued an emotional video appeal for financial support from the international shipping industry.
Master Oleksiy Luchyno calls on shipowners to help fund the Ukrainian army in its resistance against the Russian invasion — and said he has refused to call at a Russian port.
The captain recorded the message in the Indian Ocean as his unnamed vessel heads to the Suez Canal. The video has since been posted on YouTube.
Luchyno mentions the “terrible war”, while praising the army and regretting he cannot help the war effort and protect his family.
“I am a Ukrainian and proud of it. 10% to 15% of the world’s officers are Ukrainian sailors,” he says in the video.
“While we continue our work, our families are being shelled, our children are hiding in basements,” the master adds.
Luchyno also says Ukrainian seafarers have shown their reliability, professionalism and stability, and have received letters of support from shipowners.
But, pausing to fight back the tears, the captain added: “I think this is categorically not enough. I would even call it absolute inaction.”
Luchyno also revealed the vessel’s next port of call is in Russia, but he has refused to go there.
The master said there are now two options: either he will be removed or the charterer will change the port.
He signed off by saying: “Glory to Ukraine”.
Ukrainians are sharing the message and called on it to be distributed further within the shipping community.
The Ukraine conflict has escalated beyond a land war, as western sanctions hit Russian shipping companies.
France has seized the first Russian vessel believed to belong to a sanctioned Russian company.
And Ukraine has this weekend accused the Russian navy of seizing two bulk carriers in the Sea of Azov.