ON THE GROUND
Issued on: 23/03/2022 – 07:45
Entrepreneur Dmytro Tymoshenko has turned his paint company into a force for Kyiv’s self-preservation. His facilities are now producing their own bulletproof vests as well as serving as a hub for distribution of medicine and other humanitarian aid. FRANCE 24’s James Andre, Jonathan Walsh and Oleksiy Gordieiev meet volunteers participating in the effort.
Dmytro Tymoshenko’s paint company employed 70 people before Russia invaded Ukraine a month ago. Since then, regular operations have stopped, and Tymoshenko has instead turned the company’s resources towards protecting the capital – starting by producing their own bulletproof vests.
“So many people came to self-defence units. All of them came just with a gun but without bulletproof vest, without medicine, without anything. So we try to equip them to win,” Tymoshenko said.
His wife and children have fled abroad to find refuge from the fighting. But Tymoshenko has stayed on, turning his warehouses into logistical hubs, where volunteers sort and dispatch medicine and other supplies.
Among them is Anna Babenko, who volunteers while her husband fights on the front lines. His unit was recently hit.
“He called me late last night and told me that only four of them were still alive,” Babenko says. “I want the air raid sirens to stop. I want the children to go to school. I want all of this to stop.”
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