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Ukrainian Women’s Battalion now 2,500-strong

“We must help our military men – our husbands, brothers and fathers,” Alona Danilova, the founder of the Women’s Battalion told the Polish Press Agency, adding that “over the last three months, a total of 2,500 women joined our ranks, whose entire effort and dedication are concentrated today on eastern Ukraine.”

“I myself have a husband and an 18-year-old brother,” Ms Danilova said, adding that both of them are fighting on the frontlines.

“Before the organisation was established, I knew five of its current members. We got together so that our numbers grew to 50 in the first few days. Today, the Women’s Battalion consists of 2,500 girls. Ukrainian women living in Ukraine and abroad constitute its foundation but there are also many non-Ukrainians among us, including Polish women.”

The main goals on the Battalion’s agenda are supporting the Ukrainian army with non-lethal equipment and reminding the international community that the war in Ukraine continues. “We import non-lethal equipment to Ukraine, namely night-vision devices, protective gear, power generators and other tactical equipment. We have a list of specific products, the need for which is communicated by soldiers.”

“On transporting the equipment across the border, we present documents issued by the units who ordered them,” Ms Danilova said, adding that “this is how we collaborated with, among others, the Azov Battalion. Its commander issued documents in which he stated that, for instance, this specific NVD was in demand. Consequently, we bought it and, having acquired such a document, transported it across the border with ease.”

Ms Danilova stressed that social media were the main platform for the Battalion’s informative campaign. “This is where we promote what we do, this is where we spread knowledge on the situation in the country and this is where we collect funds to help the army,” she stressed. “People must simply comprehend that Ukraine is the heart of Europe and that the war must continue to be the global number one topic and not, as it is right now, merely one of many. If Putin is not stopped, he will press on after all.”

Asked about the challenges that the women volunteers face, Ms Danilova told the PAP that “the greatest challenge is that people are fed up and got used to the war, which, in turn, makes it very difficult to acquire finances to help the army. In the beginning, the issue was that we had a lot of money but we could not buy anything because the demand was so large. Today, the situation has reversed – we have a lot of equipment and little money.”

The head of the Women’s Battalion went on to say that “Ukrainians, who helped in the beginning now have their resources depleted. Thus this is why turning to citizens of other states is such an important point on our agenda.”

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