Before the February 24 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Yulia Stefanenko was the manager of !FEST!, a small chain of restaurants in the country, but when the bombing began, Stefanenko immediately converted her kitchens into food production facilities for refugees. Working with world-famous chef José Andres and his global charity, World Central Kitchen (WCK), they began feeding tens of thousands of the neediest Ukrainians throughout the country, including the soldiers and civilians along in the front lines of the war. We caught up with Yulia at the World Central Kitchen in the Lviv rail station the day the tracks had been bombed.

WCK has served more than70 million meals and can only continue to do so with our help. Contributions can be made at

Author Brian O’Dea & Cinematographer Frank Vilaca are in Ukraine filming a documentary. The Independent is sending their series of dispatches from the field.

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