West-East bike ride across Ukraine in summer of 2015 organized by Ukraine's war veterans. Photo: http://samchuk.org/
A team of Ukrainians will ride their bikes up to 150 km per day to tell Europe about Ukraine and to learn about how their countrymen live abroad.
The activists will show documentaries about Donbas and Maidan to local communities and collect donations to help the victims of the war.
The team will consist of ATO veterans, Maidan activists, and volunteers, as well as professional and amateur bicyclists. The route will run through 16 european countries. A full list of the cities on the list is on the project’s website.
The initiator of the trip is Kostyantyn Samchuk, an experienced Ukrainian sportsman, traveler, and (since 2014) – a soldier.
Samchuk’s list of travel achievements is quite long and very impressive. He has conquered the highest peaks of the four continents: Elbrus (5621 m, Europe), Kilimanjaro (5896 m, Africa), Kosciuszko peak (2228 m, Australia), and Akonkagva (6962 m, South America). He also participated in a round-the-world journey in a copy of ancient Slavic boat or “rook” named “Rusich”, a solo trip on an inflatable rowing canoe to deserted Philippine Islands, and also made a trip on a fishing canoe through the islands of Indonesia.
In early 2014, when Crimea was taken over by Russia and the Donbas unrest begun, Kostyantyn started thinking about joining the army. “I didn’t know how to tell my girlfriend and my Mom, but in March of 2014 I mobilized anyway,” he says in an e-mail.
After his demobilization in June of 2015 he decided to dedicate his life to things that inspire him: helping people and traveling. “I realized then that I won’t work ‘for money’ any more, because every day, every minute could be my last one.”
In July 2015, along with his brothers-in-arms, Samchuk went to the first charity bike ride “West – East” across the whole Ukraine which, Samchuk believes, was their rehabilitation after the war.