Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Donbas Battalion Team Up to Help ATO Wounded


Kyiv, August 15, 2014. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church- Kyiv Patriarchate and the Donbas Battalion are cooperating to help wounded Ukrainian forces receive the protection and first aid medical services that they need on the battlefield. This was stated by representatives of the Donbas Battalion and Yevstrartiy (Zorya), the Archbishop of Chernihiv and Nizhyn, at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. One of the biggest problems for Ukrainian forces in the ATO remains transporting wounded soldiers out of the combat zone in order to receive immediate medical treatment. Pro-Russian militants often target Ukrainian transport vehicles, which threatens wounded soldiers and medical personnel. The Donbas Battalion requires armored vans, which can protect the transportation of wounded soldiers and provide a safe space for medical procedures and minor surgeries.

“About 50% of wounded who died, could have been saved if they had professional help immediately” and “transportation to the Green Zone,” said Viacheslav Vlasenko, the Chief of Staff of the Donbas Battalion. The Donbas Battalion requires three armored vans and two non-armored vans in order to protect their servicemen and medical staff. At the moment, the battalion relies on unarmored passenger cars, which are particularly vulnerable to enemy fire and mortar shells. Just this week, the Donbas Battalion lost three servicemen during transportation out of the combat zone, said Vlasenko.  Yuriy Marchenko, the head of the Donbas Battalion’s medical service team, added that in addition to armored vehicles, the Battalion also requires more medical supplies such as gauze, bandages, and anti-bleeding medication.

Archbishop Yevstrartiy explained that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is trying to get support for the Battalion from the National Bank of Ukraine, which has access to armored vans and other vehicles. In addition, the church is writing letters to other Ukrainian banks and calling on wealthy individuals to assist the battalion. It costs roughly 600,000 Ukrainian hryvnia to acquire a vehicle and equip the van with the necessary medical equipment. The Donbas Battalion asked Ukrainians to help soldiers by visiting the Battalion’s Facebook, which provides instructions for donating, or by calling their hotline at +380936005614.