Kyiv, November 10, 2015. French activists who are willing to help Ukrainian army in the ATO zone face difficulties as the French Embassy in Ukraine does not give them much chance to freely provide assistance from France. However, volunteers find ways to assist the soldiers in the ATO in particular through the people who are based in Ukraine. “We know that it’s hard for the soldiers and that they often need specific stuff like bulletproof vests or sleeping bags of a special type. We’ve invented a way: we sell CDs and with money we get for those, we purchase sleeping bags or bulletproof vests. We have released a CD with a collection of 35 songs that the soldiers sang or listened to while in the ATO zone. With the money collected we bought sleeping bags for Ukrainian servicemen,” said French activist Ingrid Grisard at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. Grisard also said volunteers have prepared another CD for Christmas sale “Love Your Motherland”. French activists were also collecting the money for servicemen in the ATO zone by selling brand t-shirts “Ukrainian Armed Forces” and pens branded with “ATO hero”, only 35 pieces were produced to increase people’s interest to them due to their uniqueness.
Alongside Ingrid Grisard works Cyril Bogaert – French volunteer of the Association “France. Ukraine. Solidarity” that provides humanitarian aid to the children of internally displaced and to the children who lost their fathers in course of the ATO. “Apart from the financial aid we are also providing moral support. I have been writing letters to the soldiers in the ATO zone for a year and a half now, every day in the morning and in the evening to give them hope and support them morally,” French activist noted.
Volunteers were providing assistance to “Aidar” and “Azov” battalions. “Several months ago servicemen of Azov battalion wrote to me that they got nothing to eat. I was shocked: how is it possible? We collected 60kg of pate and groceries in three days and sent it to Ukraine,” said Grinsard. According to the activist it is not possible to send the parcels by post, that’s why they are sending small parcels of several kilograms with the people who are going to Ukraine or with the buses of a Ukrainian company travelling from France to Ukraine.
Moreover volunteers may be helping not only a particular brigade or a battalion but a particular person as well. Thus, two months ago money was collected to help a Cyborg who required an urgent surgery due to the problems with his back. “We want to help the soldiers so that Ukraine is free, and we will be helping you till the end because we love Ukraine! Ukraine is the last frontier of our freedom. If Ukraine falls, Europe will fall as well. The war – ATO – is not only Ukraine’s war but that of entire Europe, we are free thanks to the ATO soldiers,” emphasized Grinsard.