KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In a city known for its preservation of the past, Weston’s Paul Schwennesen is helping preserve information about the present, more than 5,000 miles away in Ukraine.

“The evidence of warcrimes is overwhelming,” said Schwennesen. “So I’m just contributing my one drop to the bucket of evidence.”

Schwennesen’s first trip lasted for about a month in March and April, in the early days of the Russian invasion.

The first trip was sort of The Battle of Kyiv and that battle was effectively won [by the Ukranians,]” said Schwennesen.

“The Russians, despite claiming to the contrary, kind of had it handed to them and had to retreat from Kyiv. They called it a repositioning, but they had to retreat from Kiev and concentrate their forces on the east.”

Planning for Schwennesen’s second trip started when some of the soldiers he worked with during the first trip kept asking for gear.

“You start getting messages from people you know, saying, ‘We really need this right now and can you pull it together,’ and you realize that you can, you actually do have those things they need,” said Schwennesen.

Schwennesen’s unique skill set as a Veterans of the U.S. Air Force and the war in Afghanistan gives him the knowledge to navigate the warzone, even after he says citizens in large Ukranian cities have largely returned to pre-war behavior despite air raid sirens and the constant threat of a Russian attack.

“How do you get used to cruise missle attacks, how do you get used to artillary, how do you get used to having your kindergartener blown up,” asked Schwennesen. “But the human psyche has to, I mean, you can’t just live in your basement cowering.”

Schwennesen says he’s seen the tragedies first hand that most Americans experience through news reports.

“Taken as a whole, the best we can possibly say about the Russian approach is that it’s indescriminate,” said Schwennesen.

Amnesty International published a report Monday that backs up Schwennesen’s accounts.

It says it documented 28 indiscriminate attacks in Kharkiv in April in almost as many days. Those attacks killed and injured people who appear to have not been involved in the fighting and experts say that might have been the point.

All that’s left behind is the evidence like what’s sitting on Schwennesen’s coffee table that he’s in the process of sending to investigators in Washington D.C.

“I’m picking up 25-millimeter cannon shells from a neighborhood where an apartment complex is gone,” said Schwennesen.

Schwennesen said his prediction from March, that American focus would drift from Ukraine, has largely been accurate and that the easy support that existed then is slightly harder to find now that the fight has been going on for months and other events have taken center stage.

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