The safety of the defenders is always our first priority. We want to protect them with our actions and materials, not to put anyone in danger. That’s why we continuously test the materials we provide them, especially when new batches come in.
After receiving the large shipments of plates and other gear that we told you about last week, our team on the ground spent some time doing vital safety testing to ensure we are only delivering the best quality gear. Because, if protective gear does not protect, then it is pointless.
We tested our ceramic and (as of yet uncoated) steel plates with 5.45x39mm and 7.62x39mm ammunition (commonly used in AK-47 type rifles). Both types of plates passed the test! To ensure utmost safety, the steel plates will be coated with 8mm conveyor belt material, which will capture spall and shrapnel (bullets will break apart after hitting steel and these fragments “spall” can cause injury). The coating we will add, captures these pieces and prevents them from hitting the wearer. We also tested a level IIIa helmet from the batch that we will supply with the proceeds of the ongoing campaign. The helmet also did what it was supposed to do.
Some of our amazing volunteers recent activities has been covered in a number of media channels and platforms. Be sure to check them out!
Amalei, our adorable 12-year-old girl from Castle Rock, Colorado, who has been raising funds through making homemade bracelets is getting lots of local attention. She has been interviewed no less than 3 times in the past few weeks for a regional television program. The media interest was sparked by the amazing auction where two of her yellow-blue bracelets were sold for 1000 euros to raise funds for medical kids that we were honored to deliver. Amalei did an outstanding job in all three interviews, explaining her desire to help Ukraine through supporting UAO. And she is already busy making more bracelets to sell for medical gear. Check out what she had to say in this interview. Last week, we mentioned our Finnish volunteers who drove a convey of gear and donated vehicles into Ukraine. They were featured in a TV interview and a detailed article. The interview got over 1 million views in Finland! (Thanks to the magic of google translate, those of us who cannot understand Finnish can also enjoy this great article.)
As the war has now lasted for over 100 days, much of the western news media has moved on to other stories. However, there is still a lot happening on the ground. To get an inside glimpse of the reality on the ground, we recommend a recently released series of interviews with James Vasquez, an American veteran and friend of UAO, who has been fighting in Ukraine. (While James is not a member of UAO and is using this interview to raise funds for a different organization supplying aid to Ukraine, we are all one team in the same fight.) At the 13:54 minute mark, James tells the story behind this picture.
Wear your support for Ukraine proudly!
Did you know we have a merchandise shop? Be sure to check it out! We have a number of shirts and other beautiful products with custom designs created by one of our team members, Sascha from Germany. You can get hoodies with the emblem of Ukraine Aid Operations, shirts with sunflowers, jackets with the dove of peace, mugs with the Ukrainian tractor brigade. The products can be shipped to all of Europe, as well as the US and Canada. And of course the proceeds—after deducting the costs—go to our goal: equipping the defenders of Ukraine.
We are glad to report that you, our donors have also been busy! Our fundraiser to raise 1.2 million Euros for helmets and body armor sets is off to a great start. Thanks to you all, we have already passed our first 100,000 Euro milestone!
We got this message from one of you and it was so good, we had to share. “It’s so easy to feel helpless in the face of such destruction. You let us fight back, to help our Ukranian friends. It’s a privilege we only enjoy because of your heroic work.” We are all one team in this fight! Thank you all and keep it up!!