On Friday, December 9, the official opening of the Ukrainian fire truck installation took place in Luxembourg. In March 2022 this firetruck exploded on a landmine in Kyiv’s residential suburb, 20 km from the city center while the crew was extinguishing the fire. As a result of this tragedy, 2 fire tracks were destroyed, 8 firemen were seriously injured, and one of them got his leg amputated.
Except for this destroyed fire truck, volunteers also brought a smashed ambulance from the Kharkiv region. Both of them are planned to be installed in various European cities to present real evidence of the war in Ukraine and remind everyone it is still on. Earlier the ambulance installation took place in Esch-Sur-Alzette. LUkraine asbl volunteers promise to install them also in Metz, France, in Brussels in front of the European Parliament and Haaga_._
According to the OCHA, Ukraine is one of the most mine-contaminated countries in the world. Ukrainian State Emergency Service reports that as of November 18, 30% of Ukrainian territories are mined, which equals two territories of Austria. Retreating from the occupied territories, Russian troops use tactics of total mining, not military targets but also civil infrastructure. During wartime, civilians whose lives are in constant danger must have free access to medical help and rescue services. Ukrainian firefighters and medical workers work in hot spots, frontline, and mined territories. Also, Russian troops target rescuing vehicles to thwart civilians’ salvation and constantly shell them with missiles, mines, or gunfire. These dangerous conditions not only drastically complicate rescuers’ work, but also jeopardize savior lives. In November, the Ukrainian State Emergency Service reported the death of 49 saviors, more than 172 were severely injured, and 6 rescuers are in Russian captivity. The Ministry of Healthcare at the beginning of October informed, that 24 medical workers have been killed, and 61 have been injured since February. Moreover, Ukraine lost to war thousands of firetrucks and ambulances. Explosives on mines and shelling turn them into scrap, but those that are in good condition are stolen by the Russians. More than 2000 fire trucks and 400 ambulances have been destroyed since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion, and this number is increasing daily. Ukraine loses on average 10 ambulance cars every week in this war. With this excessive shortage of rescue vehicles, emergency services need to choose which emergency to deal with first.
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