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Klitschko brothers shell out over $ 270,000 to equip army unit warring in eastern Ukraine

Kiev mayor Vitaly Klitschko, who leads UDAR party, and his brother, the boxing celebrity Vladimir Klitschko have shelled out more than $ 270,000 to purchase equipment for the Kyiv battalion, which is engaged in the government's punitive operation in the eastern Lugansk region, UDAR said at its official website.

"Volodya (Ukrainian and Russian diminutive form of 'Vladimir' - Itar-Tass) and I have allocated 3.2 million hrivnyas (more than $ 270,500) and today we're purchasing the things the fighters have been asking for," Vitaly Klitschko says. "The first consignment of the munitions will be handed over to them next week."

He said his brother and he had given consent to a request forwarded by commanders of a company assigned to 'the territorial defence battalion'.

"Commanders of the 12th battalion of territorial defense filed a request to me as the head of this city," Mayor Klitschko said. "They told me they had been dispatched to the zone of the antiterrorist operation (the way that the authorities in Kiev call the combat actions in Eastern Ukraine - Itar-Tass) for fulfilling combat tasks without the necessary munitions."

He said the monies would be spent for purchasing thermal imagery devices, spyglasses, bullet-proof jackets, individual medical kits, anesthetics, and other battlefield essentials.

Klitschko explained for the decision to spend personal money for the purpose by the absence of spare funds in the city's budget.

"It's quite clear that the budget of the capital city doesn't have the money for this," he claimed.

The punitive operation conducted against supporters of Ukraine's federalization in the former industrial heartlands of the country, the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, has resulted in a heavy loss of life among civilians and has forced several hundred thousand people to flee to neighboring regions of Russia.

[Source: Itar Tass, Kiev, 29Jun14]

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