Ukraine: The volunteer war?

Ukraine: the volunteer war? How did the director of a zoo with a weekend hobby flying remote-controlled planes become enemy.


Ukraine: the volunteer war? How did the director
of a zoo with a weekend hobby flying remote-controlled planes
become enemy number one of the pro-Russian forces in Ukraine? Yuriy dedicated his life to caring
for the animals at the zoo in Odessa, until last year,
when he had to leave his position after refusing to become
complicit in a corruption scheme. Yanukovych didn’t
understand one thing: the zoo director is
a God for the animals and a God cannot be stealing.
He had to be a God. You can deceive people,
but you cannot deceive animals. Yuriy took his passion for planes
and video cameras to Army SOS, just one of several
volunteer organisations that support Ukrainian armed
forces with essential equipment. Now he travels to the front line to spot enemy positions
and guide in artillery fire. Something that has made him
unpopular among the Russian spies that he says operate
in the Donbass area. They announced me
to be enemy number one because I traced downa Russian
centre full of military equipment. The volunteer stopgap
is urgently needed. Last year the Kyiv Post newspaper
published a photo of Red Mullet,
the nickname of a Ukrainian soldier who goes to war
wearing completely donated gear. It shows the shortfall in equipment that the government
can provide to their soldiers. At Patriot Defence,
a non-governmental organisation, which trains soldiers in giving
first aid training and equipment, volunteers say
the soldiers’ situation is grim. They get very little
from the government. They have,
they get small first aid kits that just have
old rubber Soviet tourniquets and one bandage. On top of the poor equipment
is the lack of infrastructure. According to Patriot Defence
the time from a soldier’s injury to first medical contact
can be up to an hour and from there
it can be a further two days to a field medical surgical hospital. The Ministry of Defence says
this is a legacy of annual cuts in the army dating back
to the collapse of the Soviet Union and only halted after Yanukovych’s
government was ousted. Some also point out
that his government seemed to deliberately
neglect the armed forces, especially in the East. Since there was no apparent evidence
of any danger from neighbours, the process of shortages
continued up until the last year. When Russia invaded Crimea,
Ukraine was caught off-guard. This has made the fighting
volunteers even more important. Their help was
especially felt in the first months of the conflict for supplying
the army with helmets. But for the volunteers
at Army SOS like Alina, who gives up every weekend
to help, the most important thing is there is no time to wait
for government support. We have no contact
with the government, we are independent volunteers. We know that the government
is doing something, but we don’t see any result
and maybe it’s easier for us to do what we are doing
independently.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *