A Ukrainian couple who live on the South Shore of Montreal are working to help those who defend their country by sending equipment that can be used in an active combat zone.
Svitlana Iurchenko Maksym Ishchenko and her husband live in Brossard, Quebec. for two years and want to help directly those who are injured or attacked in the hot spots of Ukraine.
Rather than gathering food, clothing or other items readily available in Europe, they want to focus on the materials those on the front lines need to survive.
“My wife and I purchased 10 body armor and have sent in Ukraine,” said Ishchenko. “After that, I bought a minivan to help Ukrainians to evacuate children, women and pensioners cities” bombed by Russia.
He also helped to buy 30 more body armor Sweden they come through voluntary to Ukraine. The couple has provided a receipt for 10 Tactical Tomahawk donors vests to show they are purchased and sent.
“We try to help the Ukrainians in different ways,” said Ishchenko.
Iurchenko said that those who wish to donate can contact her via Facebook or by email to email@example.com.
The couple launched the campaign after noticing an overabundance of diapers and other hygienic products being collected in the Montreal area and sent overseas.
Ishchenko noted that these items can be bought cheaper in Europe and are not as useful as the harder-to-obtain items in Eastern European countries.
He said he spoke to a Ukrainian medical volunteer working in some of the country’s hotspots, who said many of the donations are similar to those that would be sent in response to a natural disaster, not a war.
“It’s not an earthquake. It’s a real war where one pulls the legs and arms of women, children and other civilians,” he said. “This is a real war and we need help to win this war.”
Items the couple are looking to purchase include tactical tourniquets, occlusive chest patches, combat gauze and burnshield hydrogel, as well as body armor and tactical backpacks.
“These warehouses at the airport and the churches themselves are full of diapers, clothes, food, things that are much cheaper in Europe and things that would be much more expensive to transport from Canada to Ukraine” , Iurchenko said. “Transportation costs would be much higher than the cost of the aid would be sent here.”
The couple are clear that they will not buy or send offensive military equipment, but rather items that those in trouble spots can use for their safety.
“We really need help to survive, not just for changing diapers,” she said. “Even volunteers need to be protected when visiting hot spots … If they do not succeed, they will not help people.”
The couple currently seeking to buy bulk hemostatic tourniquet with a Canadian company to ship overseas.
“If someone wants to sacrifice his morning coffee, it would be huge for us,” Iurchenko said. “Every dollar counts.”