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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Helping our defenders

13 August, 2014 - 16:55

The Day has gathered information on the requirements of medical institutions in the regions as well as  on the way the military receive medical treatment abroad. Today, Ukraine’s best doctors are tending the Ukrainian servicemen wounded in battles with terrorists in the east.   Among them are the seriously wounded, while some of them require treatment abroad. The Ukrainians are making a concerted effort to help – they are raising funds for            treatment, medicines, new hospital equipment, and special vehicles for safe transportation of the wounded as well as bringing books,  household items, etc. Blood is being donated on a mass scale. Our newspaper has bought some indispensable medicines and handed them over to the Main Military Clinical Center. This in fact created this subject, for there are a lot of requirements, but they differ from hospital to hospital. Read also about medics who are doing field duty in the anti-terrorism operation (ATO) area. Read and help. Any help is important.




The Dnipropetrovsk Military Hospital works round the clock. There is no end to the wounded brought from the ATO area. They are flown by helicopters to the airport, from where ambulances carry them right to the operating room. Several dozen soldiers, mostly from the Shakhtarsk zone, have been brought in the past 24          hours. Doctors do not reveal the total number of patients, for it is a military secret.

The first batch of the wounded arrived at 4 a.m. on Tuesday. Eduard Khoroshun, in charge of emergency surgery at the Southern Region’s Military Medical Center, says one of soldiers has fragmentation wounds in the head and the abdominal cavity and a skeleton injury. The rest of the boys are in a fairly serious condition. There is no danger to life, for they were mostly wounded in the limbs.

The military hospital has been overcrowded for more than one month. There are twice as many ATO patients as required by standards. Medics relieve one another every two or three hours to relax a little. The hospital is fully stocked up with medicines and dressings, doctors say. There are no problems with blood transfusion – while blood was previously bought for money, now all the problems are being settled at the oblast administration level.

The only thing doctors need badly is modern equipment. The military hospital’s chief medical officer, Andrii Rylsky, says they need an image converter tube and X-ray diagnostics. “When a fragment or a bullet come close to nerve fascicles, it is difficult to draw it out because you can injure a nerve or some other important organ. If we have the up-to-date equipment, we can see the fragment and draw it out without any problems. But this device costs a pretty penny – about 150-200 thousand hryvnias,” the hospital chief explains.

You can see it with the naked eye that the situation in the hospital is changing for the better – wards and corridors are still under renovation. Incidentally, it was planned not so long ago to relocate the Dniproperovsk Military Hospital to the city outskirts. Like in the years of World War Two, this medical institution is saving the wounded. Doctors say that the WWII-time system of military medicine allowed curing the wounded combatants very quickly, thanks to which our side managed to win.

Today, the hospital stabilizes the condition of the wounded soldiers, after which they are transferred to other medical establishments for complete recovery. The main thing is the fastest possible evacuation form the battlefield, doctors say. The rest depends on the art of surgeons and the condition of the wounded. Doctors say most of the patients are soldiers with       injuries caused by high-technology weapons. The military surgeon Yevhen Herasymenko has seen a lot in his lifetime, and he says the consequences of Grad multiple rocket launcher shelling are particularly horrible. The very nature of bodily injuries has changed lately.

Doctors highly appreciate help from volunteers who tend the wounded. Thanks to this help, medics can focus on medical care as such. “A large number of the wounded keep coming. Our duty is to take care of them – we should wash and feed them, change their clothes, and cheer them up,” volunteer Khrystyna says. In her words, soldiers highly appreciate this help and are not only thanking, but also trying to woo her. “They’ve proposed to me more than once. They just say: bring your passport tomorrow, and we’ll go get our marriage registered,” she laughs.

Volunteers and doctors point out that the morale of Ukrainian soldiers and officers is as high as before. Many of them ask to be “fixed up a little” and sent back to the front line in spite of serious wounds. It is not only the psychologists, who work with the wounded from the very first day, that help boost morale and the mood. At the call of the city library, Dnipropetrovsk residents are furnishing the hospital library with books and other print publications, including the Ukrainian national newspaper Den. Those on the way to recovery usually sit on benches under tall and shady acacias in the hospital yard.

Far from all agree to have their photo taken because they say they do not want to sadden their parents who do not know where their son is. One of those who agreed to chat with us was the reconnaissance officer Mykola Skydan whom his wife was visiting. “I served as reconnaissance platoon leader at the Kryvbas battalion and was wounded in action. Near Donetsk, we went to ‘mop up’ a village. The place was heavily fortified, and the enemy used mortars and grenade launchers. There was a fierce battle, and three of us were wounded. The other side lost 15 men. Our objective was to destroy the fortifications. We accomplished the mission and retreated, but I received a gutter wound in the leg – the bone was injured a little. Once it heals over, I am sure to return to the ranks. I volunteered to the battalion because nobody has the right to invade our territory,” Mykola says. He claims that “Donetsk People’s Republic’s” units loot, steal autos, and force young people to serve. They shoot those who refuse to do so. The Kryvy Rih-based reconnaissance officer is convinced that victory over the separatists is not far away. After recovering and coming back to his unit, he intends to parade, together with his comrades-in-arms, down the Donetsk streets.

The settlement account for rendering assistance to Dnipropetrovsk Military Hospital patients is as follows:

Account 31252302216999; sort code (MFO) 805012

Dnipropetrovsk oblast branch of Ukraine’s State Treasury Service

ZKPO code 08015857

Military unit A 4615

Purpose of payment: charitable contributions.

By Vadym RYZHKOV, The Day, Dnipropetrovsk




There are 110 ATO wounded servicemen at the Western Region’s Military Clinical Center. As Lieutenant-Colonel Oleksandr Poroniuk, spokesman of the Western Regional media center of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine, told The Day, patients have various wounds – from fairy serious to very serious. Poroniuk also says that, in addition to the Lviv central hospital, another five hospitals in Ukraine’s Western region take care of the wounded.

The officer emphasizes that the Defense Ministry has resolved that those who have serious, especially spinal, wounds should be taken to Lviv for treatment because the Lviv hospital employs the highest-class specialists. According to Colonel Ivan Bohdan, chief surgeon of the Western region, there are 20 seriously wounded men in Lviv now, three of whom are already being rehabilitated, “although at the beginning of treatment it was difficult to expect their health to improve at least a little.” Asked about the hospital’s urgent requirements in money, medicines, donated blood, and “human hands,” Poroniuk said: “We are immensely grateful to the Lviv public, to all those who are not indifferent and promptly respond to the requests we spread via social networking websites. But I will still emphasize that our patients can be treated with all the necessary medicines and are provided with adequate high-quality food. If we are suddenly in need of some medicines, pharmaceutical companies furnish the hospital with all the necessary things, taking into account the current situation in this country.”

The lieutenant-colonel is also grateful to the Lviv residents who bring over and put into a special box magazines, crosswords, and fiction literature so that the patients have, so to speak, intellectual food. He also thanks editors of the periodicals that deliver several dozen copies of newspapers to the hospital free of charge.

“When the very first wounded began to arrive, we requested city residents to donate blood,” Poroniuk continues. “Quite a lot of people responded. The hospital has drawn up a list of donors who can be contacted by phone, if necessary (with due account of the blood group and the Rh factor).”

A computer was put up at the entrance to coordinate the efforts of many volunteer helpers and the requirements of the wounded. Activists can find out in this way what is the most needed thing – for example, it is shaving appliances today, single-use underwear tomorrow, and so on. Volunteers also care about the accommodation and leisure of the patients’ relatives who come to Lviv from various nooks of Ukraine. Also, to raise the soldiers’ spirits, Lviv artistes give free concerts.

Asked by The Day if everything is really so good, Poroniuk said that some misunderstanding occur of course, but, thanks to the joint efforts of both medics – particularly, Ivan Derzhylo, the center’s deputy director for educational work – and volunteers, they manage to avoid serious problems. Incidentally, doctors have to suppress the volunteers’ desire to feed the wounded with home-made food – due to sweltering heat.

They also explain to the activists who are raising funds for treatment abroad that it is wrong to recommend all amputees to get a prosthetic device outside Ukraine.

“For example, Colonel Bohdan once explained why it is not worthwhile to get an artificial limb abroad,” Poroniuk says. “Prosthetics is not a simple process, and the artificial limb has to be adjusted to the stump in almost every season. Do our patients have enough money to frequently travel abroad and pay for the services of a foreign prosthetist?”

The officer tells me about the capacities of the Lviv Prosthesis Factory which produces artificial limbs under Austrian license and employs Austria-trained personnel. Poroniuk also says that some of the wounded have been furnished with artificial limbs worth of 20 to 80 thousand hryvnias, and now both doctors and prosthesis factory technicians are closely watching the way these patients are being rehabilitated.


The doctor also says there are problems of a different nature. It is, in particular, the psychological condition of the wounded. Besides, Poroniuk does not evade such an important problem as loss of the documents which must be restored as soon as possible. “But we always try to set things going by a joint effort and, if and when possible, to help all the wounded,” he says. Volunteer psychologists also work with patients.

A special field of work is contacts with the clergy. Poroniuk expresses special gratitude to the Rev. Stepan Sus, the dean of Saints Peter and Paul’s Garrison Temple, who has established a foundation to assist the wounded and intends to use the raised funds to purchase the most up-to-date medical equipment in order to provide high-quality medical care and cooperate with foreign colleagues as part of the Tele Medicine project.

Lt.-Col. Poroniuk suggests the following charitable account details for those who wish to help the wounded now being treated at the Western region’s Military Clinical Center:

Mission “Military Chaplains Center” of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

PrivatBank Ltd.

MFO 325321

ZKPO 35775549

Account: 26007053816625

The purpose of the account: voluntary donation

Manager: Svitlana Stepanivna Sydorenko

PrivatBank Ltd.

MFO 305299

EDRPOU code 14360570

Account: 29244825509100

The purpose of the account: request to remit to the card account 5168757273198269

Full name: Svitlana Stepanivna Sydorenko

Identification number: 2405806902

By Tetiana KOZYRIEVA, The Day, Lviv





About 80 servicemen, wounded in the ATO areas of eastern Ukraine, are being treated now at the Central region’s Vinnytsia Military Clinical Center. The soldiers and officers mostly have gunshot and fragmentation wounds, acoustic barotraumas, mine explosion injuries, post-concussion syndromes, and flame burns. The authorities and charitable people support the wounded heroes both financially and morally.

In the two past weeks, each of the surgeons of this medical institution has performed an average of 80-90 operations in five surgeries. Fortunately, there is no danger at all to the life of the wounded and their health is in a satisfactory condition. After staying in the resuscitation room, patients receive all kinds of drug treatment and physiotherapy. The hospital says its physiotherapy and rehabilitation specialists are applying the most up-to-date methods to let patients fully recover and resume normal physical activity.

“Like never before, we can see now the sincerity, cohesion, and staunchness of the Ukrainian people,” says Colonel Oleksandr Petruk, chief medical officer of the Central region’s Military Clinical Center. “Thanks to financial and material aid from ordinary people, volunteers, organizations, charitable foundations, and entrepreneurs, all the ATO wounded and injured servicemen, now being treated at our place, are fully provided with the necessary medicines, clothing, high-quality food, and personal hygiene items. Forty percent of the funds that came as charity have been spent on medical care and 60 percent on the evacuation and transportation of the wounded from the battlefield to the medical institution. We have purchases breathing apparatuses and observation monitors which allow keeping the wounded alive during transportation.”

Asked about what they lack, Colonel Petruk said: “Special-purpose vehicles.” Besides, the hospital needs the high-cost equipment, such as general anesthesia equipment, patient condition monitors, defibrillators, infusion pumps, etc. Vinnytsia residents are making a concerted effort to raise funds. For example, a half of the amount for the artificial pulmonary ventilation device was remitted by the international      charitable foundation Without Borders. It took volunteers three days to raise the rest of the funds. About 15 firms, entrepreneurs, and just concerned citizens answered the call to help the Vinnytsia city hospital acquire an artificial pulmonary ventilation device. The apparatus has already been delivered from Switzerland. It is special in being able to function for four hours without central electric supply, that is, on a battery. This will allow it to be used in the air medical service and for transportation of the wounded in general.

Meanwhile, in spite of the patients’ health condition, you can feel a patriotic mood in every ward. The indication of this is Ukrainian symbols and the wounded soldiers’ belief in victory. The patients are most of all glad when volunteers bring them Ukrainian souvenirs, such as embroidered serviettes and shirts, rather than primary necessities or various sweets. And, of course, they like Ukrainian flags in all the possible variations. For example, in the ward of Oleksandr Brovynsky, who was shell-shocked when a roadblock near Donetsk was being fired at, a Ukrainian flag-looking magnet adorns the refrigerator and a girl’s wreath hangs conspicuously above the bed. The guy says the wreath gives him a hope that when he gets well again, he will be able not only to return to the unit where he has served before, but also to find a happy destiny in the future.

Those who want to help the ATO wounded, now being treated in Vinnytsia, can turn directly to Vitalii Kolesiuk, head of the charitable organization Foundation for Military Servicemen’s Health Care (tel.: 067-430-14-21). His office room No. 2 is on the second floor of the center’s nine-storey building. Legal entities can remit funds onto settlement account No. 26005060727956 of the commercial bank PrivatBank, MFO 302689, ZKPO 371597066.

The local Charitable Foundation “Podillia Community” has also joined this noble cause. In late July, it opened a charitable account to support the Ukrainian army and the wounded who receive medical care at the Central region’s Military Clinical Center. Here are the details for remission:

Charitable Foundation “Podillia Community”

4, Polina Osypenko Street, Vinnytsia

Tel.: (0432) 67-20-96

Email: podolfond@ukr.net

Website: gromada.vn.ua

Account 2600303188653 at branch No.220/01

Incorporated bank “Ukrgazbank”

MFO 320478

EDRPOU code 35904183

Purpose of payment: irreversible charitable assistance as part of the project “Supporting the Ukrainian army.”

By Olesia SHUTKEVYCH, Vinnytsia





The Kharkiv hospital’s management assured us that they have enough medicines, donated blood, and working hands. According to psychologist Pavlo Bazyl, about 150 wounded men are being treated now at the Northern region’s Military Clinical Center. Every day, about 20 people are transferred to other cities, while new combatants are coming in. About 1,000 wounded servicemen have been treated at the Kharkiv military hospital since the ATO began. “Fragmentation and bullet wounds, as well as burns, occur most often. There are also serious wounds in the inner organs, head, eyes, and limbs,” Bazyl says. “Surgeons sometimes have to amputate an arm or a leg if they cannot save them – there have been about 10 operations of this kind since the spring.”

Although the hospital is now well-stocked with medicines, the wounded always need socks, underwear, toothpaste, soap, and the related items, volunteers and doctors say. “There are a lot of everyday needs. The wounded often have no clothes, uniform, and footwear. Everybody should be given a package with sanitary items,” says Maria Nikitiuk, head of the aid foundation Peace and Order. “Also needed are orthopedic bandages that fix the limbs. One can also bring money because sometimes patients are not in a position to buy kefir or cigarettes.” Nikitiuk also notes that, although it is officially announced that large amounts are being spent on the ATO, it is unclear where exactly this money goes. “Neither the wounded nor the doctors are paid any money in addition to their small salaries. The brunt of the expenses is borne by nonprofits and activists,” Nikitiuk claims.

Doctors confirm that volunteers are saving the situation. “Volunteers help the hospital very much,” says Oleksandr Borodai, chief medical officer and the leading traumatologist. “We demand that volunteers belong to   specific volunteer organizations, the   lists of them are given to the checkpoint and to doctors. Whenever volunteers come to work, they meet the senior nurse, the ward superintendent, and can do their job.” “The main demands to volunteers are psychic adequacy and elementary medical education,” coordinator Viktoria Miliutina adds.

Incidentally, Kharkiv hospital patients read with pleasure the newspaper Den which the editorial office sends weekly and free of charge. The soldiers send their thanks to the newspaper staff.

Financial aid to the Kharkiv hospital can be given via such organizations:

Volunteer organization “Sestra Miloserdiya (ATO/ Kharkov)” 

PrivatBank, card 5168 7423 1233 5791

Delta Bank, card 5167 3900 0258 9581

UkrSibBank, card 5169 3022 0214 0998 until 05/19

Account 26251007894186

MFO 351005

OKPO 2892802169


Recipient: Yaryna Vladyslavivna Chahovets

Facebook page “Sestra Miloserdiya (ATO/ Kharkov)”

Foundation “Peace and Order”

PrivatBank, card 5168 7553 9139 2988

Recipient: Oleksandr Yurievych Pavlenko

Website: mir-poryadok.org.ua

By Aliona SOKOLYNSKA, Kharkiv