NEW YORK, March 22 – Ukrainian army units on the frontline and critical services, such as hospitals, have started receiving portable generators shipped in a massive donation from the U.S., volunteers involved in the project said Wednesday.
The shipment of 12,000 generators and their delivery to Ukraine is handled by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, or UCCA, the oldest Ukrainian organization in the U.S., as part of its increasing humanitarian effort.
The generators will have a total capacity of about 60 MW and will be spread out across the country helping Ukrainians survive power outages amid Russia’s 6-month terror campaign striking the country’s energy infrastructure with missiles.
“The generators will go to where they are needed most,” Tamara Olexy, director of UCCA’s National Office in New York, said in a recent interview. “The ones that are portable and quiet will go to the frontline, others will support hospitals, IDP families that need it.”
Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 unleashed the bloodiest war on the European continent since World War Two, resulting in a displacement of people unseen in decades.
The Ukrainian army was able to repel the invaders from Kyiv, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, and Kherson regions over the past 13 months, but the Russian offensive has now shifted to Donbas, a coal-rich region. A brutal battle is currently underway in Bakhmut, a small city in Donbas and a key to Ukraine’s defensive line.
The Ukrainian army units have used high-tech gadgets, such as drones, thermal image, and night vision devices, to outsmart and defeat the enemy. The ability to charge the devices quickly on the frontline is critical for the entire defense operation.
“Many generators have already been delivered and deployed on the frontline,” Oleksiy Khimeryk, a UCCA logistics volunteer handling the shipment, said. “The feedback that we’re getting is great - this is exactly what they’ve needed.”
Ukraine has been receiving generators from other sources as well. For example, Germany shipped 700 generators to Ukraine in February, up from 10 generators in January, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
But the shipment of 12,000 units dwarfs any other project and is one of the largest known deliveries of generators to a country in emergency. This underscores UCCA’s role in humanitarian assistance in Ukraine, perhaps the most important effort in the organization’s 83-year history.
The UCCA’s New York branch raised about $30 million in both, cash and in-kind donations, in 2022 with all donations sent to Ukraine to alleviate the suffering from the war, and also to help the country defend itself.
“I wish I could do more,” Olexy said. “It’s difficult being here, knowing that you’re limited with what you can assist. So, you do what you can to help out.” (eb/ez)