One year later: Spirit of America in Ukraine

On the anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Spirit of America is looking back on one year of intense effort to help Ukraine defend its freedom and democracy. And, we’re looking ahead at what’s still needed on the front lines.

Thank you for your support of our Ukraine Emergency Fund. Together, we are saving lives and helping Ukraine win.

Spirit of America was on the ground five days after the war began.
Understanding conflict was imminent, Spirit of America Europe Director Colleen Denny increased communication with US military and US Embassy Kyiv personnel in the months before the war began. When Russia invaded on Feb. 24, they asked Colleen to come to Poland to begin coordinating Spirit of America assistance. Colleen was on the ground alongside our US military partners in five days.

Spirit of America’s relationships in Ukraine since 2014 have been essential.
Spirit of America has provided aid to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression since 2014. Our past work in Ukraine gave us strong and trusted relationships with Ukrainians as well as US military and State Department personnel. These relationships made it possible to quickly understand and meet needs when the war began.

We’ve delivered more than $25 million and 200 tons of lifesaving aid to the front lines.
The map below summarizes the assistance we have provided to help Ukraine win. It shows that the destinations of our aid followed the key frontline needs of Ukraine’s military.

We have procured and delivered more than 200 tons of body armor, helmets, first aid and trauma kits, satellite phones, radios, ready-to-eat meals, and a host of other protective, lifesaving aid directly to frontline Ukrainian troops and special operators where they were needed most. Early media coverage included CBS Evening News and the New York Times

The TDF Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Sobko, told us that these initial sets of body armor and helmets played a direct role in the ability of Ukrainian troops to hold ground and blunt the advance of Russia’s early offensives.

36 hours to the front lines: Our partnership with the US military has given us unprecedented speed and scale.
The scale and speed of our response to the war in Ukraine has showcased the importance of our partnership with the US military. Because of Spirit of America’s agreement with the Department of Defense, US military personnel have been able to coordinate closely with Spirit of America. They have also received and transported our assistance for their Ukrainian military counterparts.

Our donated aid was often in the hands of Ukrainians on the front lines in less than 36 hours from the time it hit the ground in Poland.

We are filling mission-critical gaps. As frontline needs shift, so does our assistance.
During the counteroffensive campaigns at the end of last year, we shifted resources toward equipment that would enhance Ukrainian forces’ speed and maneuverability. We provided binoculars, personal tactical equipment, and ruggedly mobile pickup trucks to all the operational detachments directly responsible for pushing Russians back in key sectors from Kharkiv to Kherson.

We have since refined our purchases to accommodate what Ukrainian forces need most now. We recently provided critical startup funding to the Territorial Defense Force’s Captain’s Course. That course is churning out dozens of combat-credible leaders with each graduating class while serving as a shining example for the rest of the armed forces in how to build relevant professional military education in wartime conditions.

We also partnered with the TDF in a groundbreaking project to rapidly repair and deploy military grade trucks currently languishing in motor pools throughout the country.

What’s next?
We will continue to meet urgent frontline needs with speed and flexibility. Right now we are purchasing generators to support frontline units. We will also be purchasing mobile bath and laundry units for battalion-sized units as soon as this month. This will have an immeasurable impact on soldier morale and welfare.

Beyond military assistance
98% of our assistance has gone to support Ukraine’s military. However, we have provided targeted humanitarian support when it can have an off-scale impact. Early in the war we provided sprinter vans to humanitarian organizations, along with body armor and helmets to protect the drivers. Those vehicles have evacuated an injured and vulnerable civilians. As a striking demonstration of their impact, one of our vans dedicated to supporting the devastated city of Kharkiv is distributing food to over 15,000 residents every week.

We are also sponsoring a pilot project for high school students to help them rebuild their communities. More on that in the weeks ahead.

How you can help Ukraine win
Our targeted support has had a tangible impact on the battlefield and saved untold numbers of lives. As we head into the second year of the conflict, we will channel all the support we can provide to help our Ukrainian partners shorten this war and achieve victory.

Help us demonstrate America’s support. Take Ukraine’s side and help Ukraine win with a gift to Spirit of America’s Ukraine Emergency Fund.

Matt Dimmick joined Spirit of America in 2022 as a Regional Program Manager for Europe. Prior to joining Spirit of America, Matt served as the Director for Russia and Eastern Europe on the National Security Council Staff. Matt previously served as the Russia Director in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He also held the positions of Senior Defense Official and Defense Attaché in Tbilisi, Georgia, Deputy Foreign Policy Advisor for the Chief of Staff of the Army, and Assistant Army Attaché in Moscow.

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No endorsement of Spirit of America by the US Department of Defense, Department of State, or US personnel is intended or implied.

Registered 501(c)(3). EIN: 20-1687786

“You don't have to wear a uniform to serve the nation.™” and “Patriotism without politics.™” are trademarked by Spirit of America.

3033 Wilson Blvd.
Suite 70 | Arlington, VA 22201

Follow Us

No endorsement of Spirit of America by the US Department of Defense, Department of State, or US personnel is intended or implied.

Registered 501(c)(3). EIN: 20-1687786

“You don't have to wear a uniform to serve the nation.™” and “Patriotism without politics.™” are trademarked by Spirit of America.

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