Copyright © 2021

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.


Who is clothing the army: the state or the volunteers?

Valery Heletey
Article by: Yana Polyanska
Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina
Kyiv – Ukraine is making an effort to hold on to the fragile ceasefire in Ukraine, therefore there are no plans for a fourth stage of mobilization yet, stated Defense Minister Valery Heletey. Meanwhile, according to the proverb, if you want peace, then prepare for war, the Defense Ministry and volunteers are making a joint effort to equip the army with the things they need for the winter. In particular, Heletey promises to give winter uniforms by the end of the week, he initiates the creation of a Volunteer Council and gives them access to money from the charity 565 Fund. Will this Defense Ministry plan provide warm boots and Kevlar helmets to the soldiers? 

Ukraine respects the ceasefire, however, it is difficult to predict how events in Donbas will develop further, stated Defense Minister Valery Heletey. Therefore, for the Ukrainian army not to get caught unawares by the winter, the Defense Ministry promises to ensure the soldiers in the ATO zone have everything they need by the end of the week.

“I mean the provision of all servicemen with the necessary things, starting with clothing: boots, hats, warm gloves, underwear. Firewood and coal. Fuel and oil materials and heaters,” he added.

Volunteers do not expect the state to help

The volunteers who came to meet with the Defense Ministry and Armed Forces General Headquarters, told the journalists in the corridors that they were not used to expecting assistance from the government were already looking for ways to buy all things necessary “cheaply and with no bribery.”

“The state is the body that is able but not always willing. The volunteers are the people who are willing but aren’t always able,” said one of the volunteers, head of the Civil Initiative Council Vadym Kodachyhov.

According to him, the most difficult thing is buying goods Ukraine does not produce, such as Kevlar helmets. Therefore, in order to forego long tender competitions, they are forced to look for suppliers among their acquaintances.

“We have already found boots here, our guys started making them, thermal underwear as well, unfortunately, we still buy helmets from Canada. But we are buying them at 160 dollars and not 300-400 like the state is trying. And we are ready to show it transparently, it is only necessary to use the funds collected by the state according to their purpose,” he added.

The Volunteer Council will decide what to spend 565 funds on

In order to coordinate the work of volunteers who are assisting in supplying the Ukrainian army, the Defense Ministry initiated the creation of an informal organization, the Volunteer Council. According to Minister Heletey’s plan, this will allow to equip the army faster, better and cheaper, as they were even able to buy several drones which are on sale in Israel with a special license.

“This body will coordinate all the volunteers. The volunteers who are part of the Council will not only be my eyes, but will become real advocates, as wherever I go they don’t always show me the bad things, I have to look for them myself. The volunteers are the best helpers,” he stated.

The volunteers will be given part of the budget funds as well as the funds gathered using the 565 hotline. Heletey said that the activists will engage in supplying medicine, clothing and military equipment. Later they can start talking about purchasing high-precision weapons, as “rank is needed for this,” he added.

Besides, Heletey said that the Defense Ministry was planning to delegate a group of Ukrainian volunteers to Georgia to gain experience in creating rehabilitation centers for war heroes.

The Defense Ministry of Ukraine received about 150 million UAH from natural and legal persons by means of 565 – Support the Ukrainian army. 60 million UAH are left.

Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina
You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!
Related Posts

February 21: Pentagon experts have recorded a surge in Russian air activity over Ukraine

February 21 – Russian terrorists continue to shell the city of Avdiyivka. Three residents were killed, – informed the Head of Donetsk Regional Department of the Interior Ministry Vyacheslv Abroskin.

February 21 – Security Service of Ukraine has composed a list of over 100 Russian media, whose accreditation has been temporarily withdrawn. Right move, since they are not regular media but KGB.

February 21 – United States and its allies are discussing the possibility of adopting additional sanctions against Russia due to the situation in eastern Ukraine, – said US Secretary of State John Kerry at the meeting with UK Foreign Minister Philip Hammond. We'll be waiting.

February 21 – Pentagon experts have recorded a surge in Russian air activity over Ukraine, stated US Ministry of Defense spokesman Steve Warren.

February 21 – 139 Ukrainian military have just been freed near Luhansk, – informed the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. Hybrid war. It is like we are at war and at the same time we're not.

February 21 – Military actions implemented by Putin against Ukraine, have already cost Russian society and the state 123 billion USD, said the president of the Institute of Economic Analysis Andrei Illarionov at a roundtable meeting in Kyiv.

February 21 – Fighters are increasing their presence in the direction towards Mariupol. Maybe they are readying to attack Mariupol. This was stated by ATO Spokesperson, Andriy Lysenko and transmitted by Interfax-Ukraine.

"In the direction towards Mariupol there is an increasing number of armed artillery, weapons, and live forces of the oponent with the goal of possibly attacking the city of Mariupol," he stated at a briefing on Saturday in Kyiv. He noted that in the last 24 hours the fighters shelled the positions of ATO almost along the whole line of demarcation and conducted an unsuccessful attempt to storm them in the area of Shyrokyne Village. "During the last 24 hours, the fighters continued to shoot the positions of the ATO forces practically along the whole stretch of the line of demarcation," he stated. According to Lysenko, particularly intense remain the armed provocations from the side of the fighters in the Yasynuvatskyj area of the Donetsk region. "This is around the villages of Pisky, Doslidne, Vodiane, and Tonenke. In doing this, they actively utilize mines as well as reactive artillery of fire volleys and tanks," explained the ATO Spokesperson and also noted that there are continued provocations in the area of Shyrokyne Village. "Fighters with mines, grenades, and rifles, attacked the positions of ATO forces 10 times and were unsuccessful in storming it," reported Lysenko. Also the lietenant informed that the forces of ATO in the Debaltsev direction, are regrouping and are consolidating on new defensive positions. ATO Speaker provided information that in the Luhansk region,"Russian-terrorist groupings exhibited activity and attacked from the reactive systems of the gun volley 'Hrad' the area of the city of Popasne and the strong point of our soldiers and actually the city." Also, he informed, that in the last 24 hours, there were traced 16 enemy BPLA flights directed toward Mariupol, Donetsk, and Luhansk. "We note that most of the unmanned flights appear in the skies within 30 minutes after shooting has ceased," added Lysenko.

What's happening in Ukraine and why you should care

Our dangerous historical moment

UK – Lords report on Ukraine-Russia conflict

P.S.: Please spread this appeal as much as possible.