April 2024 Update - With the Special Forces of Ukraine!

April 2024 Update - With the Special Forces of Ukraine!

One of Ukraine's most pressing issues is the severe shortage of essential military supplies. The lack of mobile ground-based air defense (GBAD) and electronic warfare (EW) systems has left Kharkiv, Dnipro, and Zaporizhia vulnerable to relentless missile attacks. The russian military's tactics have also been deeply troubling. Their indiscriminate bombing of high-rises, city centers, and even international medical aid operations using the deceitful "double-tap" strategy demonstrates a blatant disregard for civilian lives and international humanitarian laws.

Despite these challenges, there is no time for despair. Ukraine has demonstrated resilience and determination, as evidenced by its successful efforts to decimate russia's Black Sea fleet. Additionally, Ukrainian forces have managed to conduct longer-range strikes targeting russian oil refineries and critical infrastructure, showcasing their ability to retaliate and defend their homeland.

While the situation in Ukraine remains critical, with ongoing military threats and humanitarian challenges, the Ukrainian people's spirit and resilience remain unbroken, and ours, too.

Your UAO Volunteer Team

Support the 3rd SOF regiment

Dear donors, the 3rd SOF Regiment needs your support!

After our very successful March fundraiser for our Ukrainian friends fighting to defend embattled Chasiv Yar, we absolutely must draw your attention to a rather special yet unsung unit that is regularly deployed to the most challenging battle zones: The 3rd Separate Special Purpose Regiment “Prince Svyatoslav the Brave”, named after the ruler of the Kievan Rus in the 10th century. The unit is part of the famous and storied Special Operations Forces (SOF) of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and part of its United Rapid Response Forces.

Two weeks ago, we started a fundraiser for that regiment. Right now, supporting SOF units is particularly vital and worthwhile. SOF soldiers are exceptionally well-trained and sent into battles where urgent support for the holding or gaining of critical positions is required. Often, the 3rd SOF Regiment is secretly dispatched to its covert missions with little notice. Because SOF units frequently and literally operate in the dark, their spectacular activities remain unreported, unknown to the public, and interviews or photos are very rare.

Donate here: https://donorbox.org/uao-support-a-unit-sof

This is why our fundraiser needs a boost, and with your generous support, we will get it across the finishing line!

So, what does the unit need most? Life-saving drone-jammers, antennas, Starlink terminals, FPV-drones, thermal drones, and encrypted radios. We have ordered several items already and so far have received the radios, which will be delivered next week. It would be wonderful if we can inform the 3rd SOF Regiment that the remaining items have been ordered also.

For the military history buffs among you: In the years of Ukrainian independence, soldiers of the 3rd SOF Regiment participated in numerous international military training and peacekeeping missions. For two years in a row, soldiers from the regiment represented the Armed Forces of Ukraine at the all-army Recon Patrol Competition in Slovakia, where they won prizes among teams from over ten participating national armed forces. It's worth mentioning that, after successful operations that were carried out soon after the russian full-scale invasion began, by decree of the President of Ukraine from 29th July 2022, the the 3rd SOF Regiment received the honorary award "For Courage and Bravery”.

The 3rd SOF Regiment has provided us with some unique giveaways:

- Patches for donations of $250
- Unsigned flags for donations of $500
- Signed flags for donations of $1000

UAO’s Yuri meets Within Temptation

In the summer of 2023, out of the blue, we received a rather unexpected support message: Within Temptation, the famous Dutch symphonic metal band, asked to co-sponsor our boat fundraiser for the Ukrainian Marines. Within Temptation donated €6.000 for 30 patches, which they packaged with a limited edition box of their latest album “Bleed Out”. Their support didn’t end here though; the band promoted UAO’s work on their YouTube channel, as well as during some interviews it did at the time their album was released. Not long ago, we found out that Within Temptation recorded a music video in Kyiv, and in no time, we got in contact and arranged a get-together. Robert, Within Temptation’s founder, (studio) guitarist and songwriter, met up with Yuri and three Ukrainian soldiers we are in contact with. It was an afternoon to remember!

Right now, we’re arranging for an interview with the band for our new podcast series on our YouTube channel - please check with our social media accounts for the first release!

Feelings of awe and pride!

In case you are following major Twitter accounts about Ukraine, you may well have come across a tweet about the accomplishments of the AFU’s 25th Airborne Brigade “Sicheslav”. Only a couple of days ago, it intercepted and halted a massive russian attack near Avdiivka, and, despite being severely outnumbered, destroyed 12 tanks and 8 BMPs. All Ukrainian positions were held - a true miracle, made possible by skill and ironclad determination.

UAO, with your unrelenting support, has delivered equipment to the 25th on numerous occasions, and news like the above should make you and us proud. Only recently, we supplied portable power stations, a drone-jammer, FPV-drones and a Starlink terminal. Previous deliveries included cars, in co-operation with Zeroline Finland, items for the unit’s command centre like printers and monitors, thermal drones, medical supplies, and air-conditioners and humidifiers for their medical stabilisation point. It were you donors who made it possible, and we hope you can join our feelings of awe and pride.

Recently, the 25th Airborne Brigade donated genuine patches we now feature in our online shop – “to support the AFU as a whole, not just our brigade” – as they pointed out. Nothing marks the spirit of that unit better. Besides, it is a unique item - please check it out!

Buy here: https://ukraineaidops.org/pages/shop

“Know the Gear” - Drones

As part of our newsletter series “Know the Gear”, we provide more details about the equipment we provide, so that you know what we do with your donations. This time: Drones, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

Why does UAO buy these items?

The russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine is undoubtedly the first time in military history where drones of all types and ranges have become an crucial, if not decisive, factor, and western forces are lagging behind how the Ukrainian military deploys them for all kinds of tasks. The advancement of drone technology, including improved sensors, communication systems, guidance, and autonomy, has significantly enhanced their operational capabilities. Ukraine successfully uses drones in contested environments, but also targets russian infrastructure installations, like oil refineries and military factories up to a thousand kilometers away. All units we support request drones, and we source them not only from European and Asian manufacturers, but also from the growing production sector in Ukraine itself, which helps the local economy and creates jobs.

Why is the item essential?

For lack of deliveries of 155mm NATO standard ammunition, and, sadly, medium and long range SSMs, drones have become Ukraine’s go-to solution in the form of guided and autonomous “aerial artillery” out of sheer necessity.

Precision Targeting: First-person view drones (FPV) with fixed payloads or munitions release systems enable Ukrainian soldiers to accurately target and destroy enemy soldiers and vehicles, either by dropping munitions or flying the drone into the target, thereby reducing risk and enhancing the effectiveness of their military operations.

Force Multiplier: Drones act as force multipliers by extending the reach and capabilities of military units. A single drone can cover a large area and provide support to multiple ground units simultaneously, enhancing situational awareness and coordination among troops.

Surveillance: Drones, particularly with thermal and other low-light systems, can provide continuous and real-time surveillance over a designated area, allowing commanders and soldiers to monitor enemy movements, identify targets, and gather intelligence about enemy positions without putting their lives at immediate risk.

Adaptability: Drones can be rapidly deployed and re-tasked to perform various missions, ranging from intelligence gathering and surveillance to combat support and electronic warfare, making them incredibly versatile assets on the battlefield.

Cost-effectiveness: Utilising drones is a cost-effective alternative to traditional manned aircraft and ground vehicles, as they require less maintenance, fuel, and manpower. This is particularly important for the Ukrainian military, which operates under tight budget constraints and limited resources.

Thank you for standing strong with Ukraine. Together, we will win this war!

Sincerely, the UAO volunteer team. 

Heroyam Slava!

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