Ukraine is facing an unprecedented invasion by Russian forces. We follow with affection the insistence of our friends to defend their homeland. So we turn to the Czech public and, together with our partners in Ukraine, we are launching a collection in which each of us can contribute. With your donation, we purchase protective equipment that increases the safety of defenders of Ukraine, such as flak jackets, helmets, gloves, walkie-talkies, night vision aircraft, medical supplies and other non-aggressive equipment. We cooperate mainly with Ukrainian defenders but also with other organizations and individuals. can you help here.
At the end of 2019, the non-profit organization Post Bellum, director of the Memory of the Nation Project, established a branch of the “Memory of the Nation of Ukraine” in Lviv. Journalists in Ukraine recorded dozens of stories about dissidents and political prisoners, especially from the time of Stalin’s repression.
Just before the conflict broke out, Ukrainian colleagues asked for help from the Ukrainian Come Back Alive Foundation, which provided the Ukrainian military with non-lethal means – mostly drones. The memory of the Czech nation decided to address its supporters and send the money to the above-mentioned Ukrainian Foundation. Within two days of the conflict, the enterprise was forced to evacuate from Kyiv and sent an urgent message that it could no longer procure and distribute the much-needed flak jackets, helmets and optics, and begged the Czech Post Bellum to seize them. The best of its ability. “When Kroupa recruited me in Memory of the Nation a month ago, I thought I would film witness stories and travel the world. But now I am organizing thousands of helmets and body armor from all over Europe and arranging for their transportation to the front in Ukraine. I am glad for that! Thank you for the opportunity ‘,” says Martin Uknecht, president of the Memory of the Nation Group for Ukraine.
The assistance is organized in cooperation with the Ukrainian Embassy
The quantity of flak jackets, military helmets, medical supplies and many other items for the defenders of Ukraine every day varies, depending on the circumstances, and especially according to the delivery time from the manufacturer. From the three Post Bellum warehouses, in cooperation with the Ukrainian embassy, they send transit, trucks and trucks to various places in Ukraine, where the most difficult battles are taking place. “We cannot determine more precise locations so as not to endanger the convoys,” said Jan Poluchek, Post Bellum’s chief operating officer.
Shipments of hundreds of flak jackets and helmets leave Prague several times a day and reach the scene within 24 hours. Jan Polouček oversees a careful overview of the so-called individual contracts, i.e. trade with manufacturers of defense equipment and medical supplies, and verifies the money spent so far from collection and the amounts agreed so far in stores. According to Poluchek, less than half of the money raised, roughly 70 million kroner, had been spent by Friday, March 4. “The key was to identify the competencies in the team so that it is simply clear who is in charge and what is in charge. How they communicate with each other, how they share information, so that everything is in absolute order. It is a new activity for us that we could not have imagined a week ago. And now we are We do it Jan Poluchek, COO of Post Bellum, says, “Like many of our other activities, we do it very professionally and well.”
We have an idea of what they’re going through, say veterans from Afghanistan
Jackets, helmets, and military clothing such as boots and jackets are brought to the nation’s memory by contemporary veterans of various missions or even active soldiers. They express their admiration and solidarity with the Ukrainian defenders.
Many say they sympathize with the defenders of Ukraine, suspecting the plight of these people. That is why they brought their personal equipment to Ukraine. According to Jaroslav, not wanting to be called by the full name, who brought more than a hundred flak jackets to Ukraine, it is important to think about ordinary people in Ukraine: “There are ordinary people who need them now. Although my jackets do not meet the specifications First line of combat, however, they will help with blast against pistols, bouncing shots and shrapnel. People simply have a better chance of surviving. Those jackets are old and used, but they’re still better than nothing.”
Many Afghanistan veterans and former police officers assist people from Memory of the Nation with the technical standards of military defense equipment. They explain, for example, what and how much to buy, how to assemble jackets. Memory Nation “buyers” often have to purchase incomplete flak jackets – especially carriers and panels. Buyers contact individual European manufacturers and close deals according to what they have in stock and for how long they can deliver the money.
Do not carry the aid of the memory of the human nation yet
asks Mary Janushkova, Post Bellum’s head of foreign affairs, who is involved in coordinating the Ukraine collection. He adds that people who have this should turn to other humanitarian groups, such as people in need or state institutions, where accommodation for refugees is provided by the Ministry of the Interior https://www.suz.cz/. According to her, it is now important to follow the web beacons that guide those interested. Even the nation’s memory prepares humanitarian aid, but later. Now, in the so-called “hot” phase of the conflict, he wants to equip the defenders of Ukraine directly on the fronts near the major Ukrainian cities.
They work late at night and on weekends
“It’s a terrible mess! A great team has been formed at Post Bellum. They are all working on the weekend. We managed to get a huge amount of material to Ukraine in two days and we confirmed that it was captured there and that it serves the defenders”, says Martin Krupa, One of the main organizers of the group.
The key to success, he adds, are certain rules, including good sleep and keeping your nerve, having a good collective organization capable of receiving and carrying out instructions according to the current urgent situation. In addition to a well-functioning team, which now includes about twenty people who do the additional coordination of about a hundred volunteers, Memory of the Nation needs rapid government action, for example when issuing defense export certificates: potential offices, so that the matter can be settled within hours. The situation today opens the door and the officials deal with our requests quickly. Well, sometimes you have to seal a lot to get things moving, but you’re doing really well,” says Martin Krupa, Post Bellum board member and one of the group’s organizers.
“Proud twitter enthusiast. Introvert. Hardcore alcohol junkie. Lifelong food specialist. Internet guru.”