The United Kingdom is set to donate a fleet of NHS ambulances to Ukraine which will provide urgent care for those injured by Russian attacks following its invasion of the country in February.
NHS trusts in England and Wales will donate around 20 ambulances directly to the Ukrainian government in a showing of solidarity with a country whose healthcare system has been drastically affected by the bombardment of Russian forces in its major cities. Health services are particularly stretched due to indiscriminate Russian bombing of civilian shelters and hospitals.
The first ambulances are expected to arrive in Ukraine this week, with the majority initially destined for the western city of Lviv before being transported to areas of conflict where they are most needed.
Commenting on the announcement, U.K. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss lamented the “horrific impacts of Putin’s cruel war on the people of Ukraine” and said the “world class NHS ambulances will now help bring lifesaving care directly to those injured in the conflict.”
Health Secretary Sajid Javid reiterated the United Kingdom’s intention to stand “should to shoulder with Ukraine” and provide them with the “lifesaving medical equipment they need.”
Javid explained the Russian invasion had “damaged key medical infrastructure” across Ukraine and expressed his relief that casualties of the Russian aggression will now be able to receive urgent care.
The move from the United Kingdom is the latest support measure afforded to Ukraine and comes in addition to the £394 million (€472 million) already pledged by the UK, of which £220 million is ring-fenced for humanitarian aid.