This week on 60 Minutes, correspondent Scott Pelleywhere about half a million displaced Ukrainians have fled west to escape the Russian war in their hometowns. Due to its relative safety and proximity to Poland, Lviv has also become a target for those moving east into the conflict. The city has become a hub for journalists and humanitarian organizations waiting to be deployed to besieged areas.
Nevertheless, Lemberg was the target of Russian attacks. Just 36 hours before the 60 Minutes team arrived last week, the city was bombed by cruise missiles.
During the time that 60 Minutes was on the ground in Lviv, air raid sirens wailed four times. The team, including Pelley, producer Nicole Young and associate producer Kristin Steve, took shelter in basements and bomb shelters alongside Ukrainians who had grown accustomed to the unsettling routine.
“They don’t know how long it’s going to take them to tell you this situation is okay,” Young said. “And it’s just interesting that just weeks into this crisis, something like this has become a normal part of everyone’s life.”
One of those sirens went off when Pelley called Dr. Interviewed John Roberts, a leader of the International Medical Corps Emergency Response Team. In Lviv, Roberts is distributing much-needed medical supplies needed for basic needs, including treating pregnant women, delivering babies and performing surgeries.
“People think ‘war,’ they think it’s all gunshot wounds and bombs,” Roberts said. “But when the healthcare system isn’t there, everything else that isn’t normally a problem suddenly becomes a problem. For example, something as simple as blood pressure medication or medication for heart failure or diabetes. When you get your insulin, it goes away.”
At the shelter where Roberts was helping patients, a woman named Larysa Pelley said her son Dmytro was still recovering from recent kidney surgery. Since the beginning of the war, Larysa said, recovery in the Kharkiv basement, where they had taken cover, had been difficult. Escape to Lviv was a challenge of its own – the family had no food or water during the 19-hour train journey.
Now among the new homeless sleeping on wooden pallets in what was once a basketball court, Larysa spoke of getting back to the life she knew.
“We’d like to go home. It’s all destroyed. Our house is intact, but everything is destroyed. We would even go home,” said Larysa. “People think we want to hike or go to Poland or something – no. We love our own. We are patriots. We love our country, Ukraine.”
The video above was produced by Brit McCandless Farmer and Will Croxton. It was edited by Will Croxton.