Many volunteer soldiers in Ukraine signed up to serve their country and were trained in Kyiv and initially served there. But they were suddenly redeployed in May to Ukraine’s eastern battle ground with no personal protection gear and little ammunition.
Amongst those sent to fight in the east was Maxim’s older brother.
“When he was sent to the anti-terrorist operation zone, I asked him, ‘what do you have?’ He told me, ‘I’ve got some ammunition and some weapons, that’s all.’ ‘And what about a bullet-proof vest?’ He answered: ‘We don’t have them.’ I spent a week finding a vest to send him,” Maxim explained to euronews.
Even medical supplies have been donated along with food and personal protection equipment.
Money is often provided by Ukrainian businessmen. Products, such as canned vegetables and meat,are given by villagers.
Every week they send a truck with five tons of products and protection equipment to Ukraine’s eastern regions.
Roman Khanin heads up a charity where people donate food and supplies for soldiers. He told euronews: “The state actually gives them (Ukrainian military) a sub-gun, a bed and sometimes bullet-proof vests. However 300 soldiers may only get 100 bullet-proof vests.”
Bohdan Senyk, Ministry of Defense spokesman explained why: “Bullet-proof vests had not been adopted for service in previous years. They were only provided for national service units, carrying out peace support missions abroad, and for the guard. But this is quite a small number of soldiers.
The ministry said they’ve already sent 3,000 bullet-proof vests to the east. But they need more.
While the government talks about it, the volunteers are preparing to fill their next truckload of products and equipment to send to the east.