Not so long ago we visited Mariupol marines once again to deliver them another part of the aid. The people and the roads crippled by war, the fate of the village, hundreds of the kilometers and a quite new experiences. We have a lot to say so will publish this story in parts.
The marines always and everywhere remain ‘semper fidelis’ – always faithful to the oath and to the colleagues. It happened that the war with Russia touches the civil people far over the border of Ukraine. And the conflict is not that direct. But not all people remain passive. One ordinary American, who dedicated many years of his life to the service in the Marine Corps, was following the course of Russian occupation of Ukraine since the very beginning.
The monster truck in Kyiv before the departure to the destination point
When the men discovered that two hundred of Ukrainian marines remained faithful to the oath, went out of the occupied Crimea and began to defend the borders of Ukraine, he got the idea to help the colleague marines. The man have its own rock quarry where the stone is mined, and a few cars there. But he decided that part of his auto fleet will be more relevant to the Ukrainian marines at the front line, than in the red sands of Texas.
The American donated three powerful Ford F350 pickups. Two of them (2009 and 2011 year of production) are on diesel, and one (1996) uses petrol. All three cars are in excellent condition and still carry a little red sand – a sweet little reminder about the America.
Maksym is sincerely happy with a new present that just arrived
The cars got to Ukraine without problems, but got stuck at customs. The cars spend six months in containers at customs, and it would be much more if not the help of Serg Marko. For two months he negotiated with the bureaucrats, using the help of the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine. And now the cars are free and ready to go.
Serg Marko (Sasha) fights with the bureaucrats
It would be inappropriate to just deliver the cars to the front line, because they require certain upgrades first. The volunteers changed the tires for the ones suitable for winter, and covered the cars with a winter camouflage pattern and armored. One of cars is designed for the reconnaissance, so it was turned bulletproof.
The bulletproof body
One o the cars was remade into the the movable station for the machine-gun.
The place for the machine gun or the machine-gunner
The third car with the free chassis will be suitable for moving heavy objects.
‘The monster truck from the Texas
The customs clearance and maintenance of the cars is successfully accomplished. November the 16th, the Ukrainian Marines Day, is the professional holiday for the marines. And the cars is a wonderful and handy gift for the Ukrainian soldiers at the front line. The cars will be delivered to the front line with the help of Serg Marko, Yana, Sergiy and Maxym Ryabokon with a team.
Three beautiful cars are ready to be delivered
Also we would like to thank the Poltava Drilling Company. Thanks to the effort of the general manager of the company the cars reached the Ukraine. He personally negotiated with the US marine about the delivery of the cars and covered all the expenses to transport the cars between the continents to Kyiv.
When we left the Kyiv the road was fine. Typical winter road, snow and a light fog. After we passed the Poltava the interesting thing happened.
After a few kilometers the surface of the road changed drastically and we turned onto the ruined part of the track that was completely covered with pits.
Suddenly, we heard the SOS signals from the Yana and Sergiy’s team over the radio. The truck they’ve been delivering got broken. The part of the truck’s body litterally fallen off.
The american monster was not ready to the unfriendliness of some of the Ukrainian roads
With the help of the straps from one of the cars we fixed the body of the truck. This temporary solution will preserve it from falling off. And when we arrive the marines will fix it with some bolts and screws.
Then we pass few great Ukrainian cities. Due to the late hours we allow ourselves to move reasonably fast through the highways.
At one of the intersections we were followed by the patrol car. The police officers checked our three cars without any numbers. But when they noticed the logo on the doors, that says The People’s Project, they let us go.
The powerful sound of the trucks was heard far away from the road
Then we crossed the border of Zaporizhya. A city is very beautiful in the first rays of the morning sun. We passed the Zaporizhya Hydropower Plant and in a few minutes got to the finish line.
Zaporizhya’s bumpy road is impossible to be photographed in motion
Closer to Mariupol we experience the vibrations from riding on the road, ruined by the armored vehicles. The feeling is horrifying, considering the fact, that we pass the living villages and are able to see the footprints of war left by the deathly machines.
The destination point near the Mariupol
This trip was profitable not only to the marines. Its when you see for yourself all the endless fields, cozy villages with old buildings you have the feeling of your homeland. And you know that its up to you to do something to protect it either. It makes you feel able to do your best to protect your home from enemy invasion.
The rest of the story about the marines and the present we tell more in the next parts. Meanwhile we want once again to thank all the participants of the project The Defenders of Mariupol.