How Vadym Novynskyi’s Ambulances Are Making a Difference in Kherson

The Vadym Novynskyi Charitable Foundation, in partnership with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, donated eight ambulances to Kherson and the Kherson region on Nov. 17, continuing a humanitarian initiative that has seen more than 100 of the critical emergency vehicles presented to health care officials around the country.

According to a statement on the Vadym Novynskyi Charitable Foundation’s website by its director, Dmitry Sergeev, each ambulance is loaded with food, defibrillators, folding and vacuum stretchers, as well as medicines that are now in dire need by doctors in the Kherson region: painkillers, anti-pyretics, and antibiotics.

Shoring Up Ukraine’s Health Care System

Since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, invading forces have routinely attacked Ukraine’s health care system to make it more difficult for aid to reach those in need. On the first day of Russia’s invasion, for example, invading forces attacked a hospital in the eastern Ukrainian city of Vuhledar, killing four people and wounding 10 more.

The next day, a children’s hospital and a cancer center were targeted in other parts of the country. In March, one of the most widely condemned attacks came when a Russian missile hit a maternity hospital in Mariupol, wounding 17 hospital workers and patients and killing a pregnant woman.

Upon witnessing the death and destruction caused by invading forces, Vadym Novynskyi jumped into action and began diverting the assets of his foundation to humanitarian aid initiatives.

In a Facebook post from July, the health ministry estimated that over 50 medical workers had been wounded by Russian attacks since Feb. 24, when Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine. The post also said that 123 medical facilities in Ukraine were destroyed by the invasion, while another 746 needed repairs. The numbers are now expected to be much higher as the war in Ukraine rages on.

Ambulances for Kherson

The Vadym Novynskyi Foundation — together with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church — has been implementing one of the largest projects in Ukraine to provide communities affected by hostilities with specialized medical transport.

Donations of ambulances began last April when nine vehicles were donated to the Territorial Medical Association Regional Center for Emergency Medical Aid and Disaster Medicine of Zaporizhzhia Regional Council. In August, five more ambulances arrived in Zaporizhzhia after being purchased inside the European Union by the Vadym Novynskyi Charitable Foundation.

More recently, the foundation’s efforts have been focused on Kherson. The city was liberated on Nov. 11 by the Armed Forces of Ukraine along with other areas of the Kherson oblast, in addition to parts of the Mykolaiv oblast, ending a nine-month occupation by Russian forces. The liberation came only two months after Russia announced the annexation of the Kherson oblast, along with three others.

Speaking about the donation of ambulances, the Chancellor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church said, “We went to the recently liberated Kherson with the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy of Kyiv and All Ukraine. Every day we pray that the Lord will strengthen every Ukrainian. All of us, as patriots of our motherland, are working, each in our place, to ensure that peace reigns in our country as soon as possible.”

In total, 101 ambulances have already been delivered to different regions of the country. As part of another humanitarian project, the foundation and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church have sent more than 65,000 food kits to residents of Ukrainian communities located in the front-line zone.

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