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From office work to drone drops: Ordinary Ukrainians join wartime supply effort

Rogue Valley

Ruscism = Russian fascism
DP Veteran
Apr 18, 2013
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LVIV, Ukraine — He once sold pots, cookie cutters and pizza pans. His company in this city in west Ukraine even sold metal wine racks to Ikea. But the war left Maksym Andrushchyshyn to contend not just with the existential threat of Russians invading his homeland, but with $100,000 of canceled orders and no regular business beyond the war effort. Andrushchyshyn is using the 30 remaining employees at his metal workshop — he had 70 before the war — and his company’s leftover savings to make items useful to the war effort that he hopes will keep his home out of Russian hands. “If Russian invaders come here, I understand there will be no business, there will be no life,” Andrushchyshyn said, noting that most employees are working for free as he struggles to pay the workshop’s rent and utilities. “This is a serious danger because they will not stop. This crazy Putin kills us like animals. We saw what he did in Bucha and other cities, and so we support our military. If they need us to stop here and go to war, we will go to war. Until then, we work every day, 24/7, through the night.” It doesn’t stray far from his mind that about 30 of the Ukrainian soldiers he is hoping to help are employees who left their jobs at the workshop to fight. While there are official military supply lines and organizations funneling goods throughout the country, individual Ukrainians are also taking up the cause to support their compatriots and the fight against Russia.

Just a short drive from Andrushchyshyn’s workshop on a side street on the city’s edge, Ihor Skalskyi and his employees at a light-show equipment and production facility take those steel plates that Andrushchyshyn’s employees cut and turn them into a finished bulletproof vest. Skalskyi is just above the age requirement to leave the country, turning 60 the day before the war started, so he can travel to procure the materials himself. Together, Skalskyi and Andrushchyshyn have made thousands of bulletproof vests that can withstand rounds from an AK-47 and even a Russian sniper rifle. Still, Andrushchyshyn is clear-eyed that his help alone won’t be enough. Bulletproof vests will help some soldiers, but it won’t change the outcome of the war — it won’t bring Ukraine a decisive victory. That, he said, is dependent on the continued support of Ukraine’s international partners and the weapons and technology they provide. But Andrushchyshyn said he intends to keep working here in his metal shop until the bitter end — whenever that might be. “I don’t know; we will do this until we can’t,” he said. “I think that’s what’s normal now.”

(y) God bless and Godspeed.
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