Julia Haart tells ‘bombed out buildings’ during her harrowing visit to Ukraine’s frontlines


Julia Haart, the star of the Netflix hit My Unorthodox Life, recently spent several days volunteering on the frontlines in Ukraine.

This week the 51-year-old exclusively sat down with DailyMail.com to discuss what it was like braving bombs and mortar fire to deliver much needed supplies to the formidable fighters, and share her detailed travelogue which she penned during the journey.

Haart partnered with the Volunteer Ambulance Corps and Ukraine Friends, a US based non-profit dedicated to delivering critical help in Ukraine by providing humanitarian aid, refugee support and a focus on recovery and reconstruction, according to their website. 

Stepping up: Julia Haart has exclusively spoken to DailyMail.com about her time at the end of last year and beginning of 2023 spent volunteering on the frontlines in Ukraine

‘We are delivering ambulances, medical supplies, tourniquets, warm clothes and toys for the children,’ Julia says. ‘The doctors are here to speak to the medical staff on the frontlines and get a better understanding of what they need and how to best help them.’

Haart, who fans will know as reality TV’s favorite pint-sized fashion mogul, didn’t waste a second thought on leaving the creature comforts of home to risk her own safety in order to support Ukraine.

‘My children thought I was nuts when I told them I was going to the frontlines,’ Julia says. ‘But I had to. My heart compelled me to. 2022 has been the most difficult year in my new life and fight for freedom. Freedom is not something I take for granted.’

‘I lived in a world where every aspect of my day was regulated and my heart, mind and body were not mine to control,’ she continues, adding later. ‘And then I realize … that’s what drew me here.’

'We are delivering ambulances, medical supplies, tourniquets, warm clothes and toys for the children,' Julia says. 'The doctors are here to speak to the medical staff on the frontlines and get a better understanding of what they need and how to best help them.'

‘We are delivering ambulances, medical supplies, tourniquets, warm clothes and toys for the children,’ Julia says. ‘The doctors are here to speak to the medical staff on the frontlines and get a better understanding of what they need and how to best help them.’

'Because they are Freedom Fighters with a Capital F. These men and women, this country, they aren’t giving up just money, comfort, security and peace for their freedom, they’re giving their lives,' Julia says.

‘Because they are Freedom Fighters with a Capital F. These men and women, this country, they aren’t giving up just money, comfort, security and peace for their freedom, they’re giving their lives,’ Julia says. 

‘Because they are Freedom Fighters with a Capital F. These men and women, this country, they aren’t giving up just money, comfort, security and peace for their freedom, they’re giving their lives,’ Julia says.

She is quick to point out that while her personal struggles aren’t even in the same realm as what is going on with the Russian invasion, ‘fighting for others has given me the courage to fight for myself and my family.’

The Moscow-born entrepreneur speaks fluent Russian, one of the most common languages in Ukraine outside of the country’s native tongue, which made communicating with locals a breeze.

Through the volunteer organization, Julia met with several mayors, local officials, military personnel and doctors aiding the resistance. 

One of the items the volunteers were delivering are thousands of ‘really cool lamps that are solar powered’. In addition to being a neat piece of tech, the lamps don’t need batteries and can charge cell phones, two critical things in an area where power was completely decimated following Russian bombs.

On their first day, the group visited an IDP center [internally displaced people center] in Nyzhni Vorota, Zakarpattia Oblast. There are lots of children among the displaced and Haart, a mother of four, was thrilled to be able to deliver them a ton of donated toys, calling it a ‘magical moment.’ 

Crucial: Julia and the volunteers delivered solar powered lamps that don't need batteries and can charge cell phones, two critical things in an area where power was completely decimated following Russian bombs

Crucial: Julia and the volunteers delivered solar powered lamps that don’t need batteries and can charge cell phones, two critical things in an area where power was completely decimated following Russian bombs

'Everywhere we looked were bombed out buildings, destroyed roads, towns and villages decimated by shelling and explosions. Everywhere we looked, people were still going about their business, stepping over twisted shards of medal that blocked the streets with aplomb.'

‘Everywhere we looked were bombed out buildings, destroyed roads, towns and villages decimated by shelling and explosions. Everywhere we looked, people were still going about their business, stepping over twisted shards of medal that blocked the streets with aplomb.’

‘Sitting there on the floor, covered in toys, watching their faces light up. The lights kept going off, the power would play with us, taunting us with light and warmth only to disappear a few minutes later and shroud us in darkness,’ she recalls. 

‘It didn’t matter. They played with their toys in the dark. I felt like nothing would keep them down, that they would find joy in the simplest, smallest things.’

The joy of the children is something Julia carried with her during the mission, even while facing gunfire, bombs and grenades in the warzone.

‘I woke up to news that a hotel 3 blocks from us had been bombed and decimated . One person was killed in the explosion,’ she somberly says. ‘I remembered the bang and realized that’s what it must have been … a bomb hitting the hotel down the street. Terrifying and terrible.’

For her safety when on the frontlines, Julia was made to wear an oversized helmet and bullet proof vest which weighs nearly as much as she does. 

‘I desperately want to take it off. I mean, I’m such a tiny target .. I’m gonna be fine,’ Julia recalls. ‘But no one agrees with me, I am told to keep it on. Sore shoulders are a small price to pay for your life.’

'Sitting there on the floor, covered in toys, watching their faces light up. The lights kept going off, the power would play with us, taunting us with light and warmth only to disappear a few minutes later and shroud us in darkness,' she recalls.

‘Sitting there on the floor, covered in toys, watching their faces light up. The lights kept going off, the power would play with us, taunting us with light and warmth only to disappear a few minutes later and shroud us in darkness,’ she recalls.

'It didn’t matter. They played with their toys in the dark. I felt like nothing would keep them down, that they would find joy in the simplest, smallest things.'

‘It didn’t matter. They played with their toys in the dark. I felt like nothing would keep them down, that they would find joy in the simplest, smallest things.’

Due to the ‘heavy shelling and bombing’ soldiers drove the ambulances being delivered to the frontlines – though Haart was also behind the wheel at one point. 

She was on board along with other volunteers and doctors to bring ‘the medications, the tourniquets, the ambulances and the warm clothes’ as well as assess what else is needed. 

‘The drive to the front lines was completely surreal,’ she says. ‘I can’t say exactly where we are, let’s just [say] somewhere in eastern Ukraine. Everywhere we looked were bombed out buildings, destroyed roads, towns and villages decimated by shelling and explosions. Everywhere we looked, people were still going about their business, stepping over twisted shards of medal that blocked the streets with aplomb.’

Haart called the ‘inspiring’ spirit of the citizens ‘indomitable.’ ‘They’re so calm, so un-afraid. Danger is their constant companion and they invite him in and offer him a drink,’ she poetically adds. 

On another day of the trip Julia is taught how to fire a machine gun, and faces first hand the devastation of war when one of the soldiers she ‘was just kibbitzing with’ is killed by enemy fire. 

‘We hear thunderstorms (bombs) behind us. The bunker we were in 30 min ago is no more! The Russians, who’ve bombed the building over and over again finally succeed in destroying the bunker,’ she says.’

‘The fury that rises within me cannot be contained,’ she adds.

'We hear thunderstorms (bombs) behind us. The bunker we were in 30 min ago is no more! The Russians, who’ve bombed the building over and over again finally succeed in destroying the bunker,' she says.'

‘We hear thunderstorms (bombs) behind us. The bunker we were in 30 min ago is no more! The Russians, who’ve bombed the building over and over again finally succeed in destroying the bunker,’ she says.’

'I can relate to misinformation. I can relate to being villainized when you’re innocent . I can relate to misinformation being spread to excuse theft. Of course, my insignificant problems are mere dust compared to these men and women. It’s just what draws me to them,' she says thoughtfully.

‘I can relate to misinformation. I can relate to being villainized when you’re innocent . I can relate to misinformation being spread to excuse theft. Of course, my insignificant problems are mere dust compared to these men and women. It’s just what draws me to them,’ she says thoughtfully.

Haart, who left the strictly conservative Haredi Jewish community in which she had been brought up and raised her children in 2013, can relate in a way to ‘Putin’s disinformation machine’ which started and sustains this war.

She says the Russian president ‘spewing out lies that become truth through mere repetition, is meant to demoralize and to excuse the mass theft and execution and murder that is being committed by Putin’s army.

‘I can relate to misinformation. I can relate to being villainized when you’re innocent . I can relate to misinformation being spread to excuse theft. Of course, my insignificant problems are mere dust compared to these men and women. It’s just what draws me to them,’ she says thoughtfully. ‘They would rather die free people than live enslaved and my heart sings with them.’ 

The former teacher, who had secretly been selling life insurance on the side before her departure, changed her name from Talia Hendler to Julia Haart and founded her own shoe company. 

She later collaborated with La Perla for their accessories collection and was then hired as the company’s creative director. The 5’5″ spitfire created a love match with company president, Silvio Scaglia, 64, marrying him in 2019, but the pair split last year. 

Finding common ground: Haart, who left the strictly conservative Haredi Jewish community in 2013, can relate in a way to 'Putin’s disinformation machine' which started and sustains this war

Finding common ground: Haart, who left the strictly conservative Haredi Jewish community in 2013, can relate in a way to ‘Putin’s disinformation machine’ which started and sustains this war

Pictured: Julia speaks with a wounded soldier at a veteran's hospital in Kiev on January 7

Pictured: Julia speaks with a wounded soldier at a veteran’s hospital in Kiev on January 7

Julia is currently CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Elite World Group, a modeling agency.  

She’s been battling her estranged husband, Silvio Scaglia, this year who has been falsely accusing her of misappropriating millions from the company they once shared.

On Thursday, Scaglia’s former executive assistant turned whistleblower, Tania Cohen, 54, exclusively told DailyMail.com that her ex-boss is waging a ‘crusade to destroy’ Haart. 

‘His obsession with going after Julia grew every day. He deliberately cut her off from her income and her livelihood with the objective of starving her out of her home and her finances,’ Cohen reveals.

‘He believed she could never withstand the cost of her attorneys and the lawsuits [that he filed]. He believed he would win by default.

‘It was truly disturbing to witness. Silvio was portraying her as a thief and an incompetent executive who left Elite in financial distress, but in turn he’s spending [millions] not only on legal fees but on his lifestyle which was just excessive.’

Viewers of the second season of Haart’s Netflix show, ‘My Unorthodox Life’ – which charts the mother-of-four’s extraordinary success having escaped an ultraorthodox life in Monsey, New Jersey’s Hasidic community – bore witness to the catastrophic demise of her three-year marriage to Scaglia.

Haart was blindsided when, in February 2022, her husband filed for divorce then moved to carve her out of the business they had shared. And, in a handful of days last February Scaglia aggressively set about dismantling Haart’s home life, reputation, and career.

The legal battle with her ex has tied up much of Haart’s personal wealth which she wished she could have had access to in order to donate more to Ukrainian relief.   

‘I may not currently have the means to help them financially as I would like, until these lawsuits are over and my company and money is restored to me, but I can help in other ways. I was asked to come because I can bring awareness to what’s happening here,’ she says.

'I may not currently have the means to help them financially as I would like, until these lawsuits are over and my company and money is restored to me, but I can help in other ways. I was asked to come because I can bring awareness to what’s happening here,' she says.

‘I may not currently have the means to help them financially as I would like, until these lawsuits are over and my company and money is restored to me, but I can help in other ways. I was asked to come because I can bring awareness to what’s happening here,’ she says.

Excerpt from Julia’s travelogue – January 4, 2023 

We drove to the place in the front where the head medics and doctors are. We found out that they cant use the diagnostic tool that [the doctors] Joe and George had brought as they cannot use Wi-Fi at the front as it could give away their positions. In fact, every day, we were told when to put our phones on airplane mode as using service could be very dangerous. Oh well, there goes that.

Joe is told by the head medic, who happens to be a brilliant woman, that what they need most of all is oxygen tanks and anti-bacterial meds. People come in for one thing and die of another. They need help. They need all of us. 

'They’re so calm, so un-afraid. Danger is their constant companion and they invite him in and offer him a drink,' she says of the Ukrainian people

‘They’re so calm, so un-afraid. Danger is their constant companion and they invite him in and offer him a drink,’ she says of the Ukrainian people

Joe and George are taking copious notes, when a soldier runs in and starts shooing everyone out. Go, go, go. We don’t ask questions. We move. Quickly. And its really good we do because the bombing and shelling is crazy. We throw ourselves into the vehicles and drive, hurry, hurry, hurry. 

The Russian offensive has started and the missiles raining down, fast and furious. We give a little cheer when we hear it going in the other direction. Ukraine is fighting back and they’re giving as good as they get ( and hopefully causing lots of damage).

 Driving through an active war zone wasn’t exactly on my bucket list , but I’m too angry to be afraid and I’m cheering like a crazy person every time I see Ukraine firing on enemy lines.

 



Source link

Latest

Rachel Stevens reveals she has moved houses following her split from husband Alex Bourne

Rachel Stevens has revealed she has moved house following her split from husband Alex Bourne.The S Club singer, 44, said she is feeling...

What is Causing the Worrisome Increase in Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts files on a computer or network and holds them hostage until the owner pays...

New Dior CEO Delphine Arnault joins her VERY rich pals at her first show 

The front row of the Dior Paris Fashion Week show was packed with the rich and the famous on Friday as the new...

FWAW star Sam Messina sentenced to community service after brutal attacks on ex-girlfriend

Former reality television star Samuel Messina has received his punishment for the three counts of assault he committed against his ex-girlfriend in 2019.The...

Unhedged: Stock prices and the velocity of money

This article is an on-site version of our Unhedged newsletter. Sign up here to get the newsletter sent straight to your inbox every...