An international humanitarian “Christmas Convoy”, driven mostly by NATO and United States veterans, has arrived in Kyiv today, bringing 75 energy generators, 250 wood burning stoves, more than 50 SUV cars and light trucks and other critical winter equipment, in order to to bring relief to the suffering local population. The goods are worth 2 million euro and are meant to help the country deal with Russia’s continuing attacks on critical civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. This has caused more than half of the country’s electricity network to be damaged or destroyed, leaving millions of Ukrainians without electricity.
The convoy was driven mostly by NATO and United States veterans, many of whom are Purple Heart recipients, a United States military decoration awarded to those wounded in action. Commenting on the initiative is Joe De Sena, the CEO and founder of Spartan Race endurance events, the world’s premier obstacle course race. He is also one of the key figures leading the Christmas Convoy and stated:
“This humanitarian mission is showing the rest of the world that when a bully picks on any of us, they’re picking on all of us,” said De Sena, who is a long-term investor in Ukraine. “The Spartan Race community is 10 million strong and spans 50 countries – this is a show of our solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and it’s an incredible feeling when humanity stands together against things that aren’t right. I could not have done this without the astounding support of our incredibly generous donors, our allied partners and veterans, and the Spartan community.”
The Christmas convoy has been funded by generous benefactors and was organized by leaders, friends, and supporters of the Spartan Race community. Founded in 2007 by Joe de Sena, Spartan Race is the world’s leading obstacle race series, as well as a health and wellness platform. The company has built, over 15 years, a unique culture and community of 10 million athletes across 50 nations working together to overcome “any and every obstacle,” and holds a variety of race events in the US and globally each year.
US Army veteran Kemar Ebanks, another participant and a Fellow at the Special Operations Transition Foundation (SOTF), commented:
“Winter has already arrived and there is still an acute lack of generators in the country following Russia’s relentless and barbaric attacks on Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure. With this latest donation, we hope to help keep essential facilities in Ukraine running this winter. We also want to show that veterans understand the hardships the people of Ukraine are enduring, and we are doing whatever we can to help in the fight for freedom. At Christmas time, when we celebrate good will between people, we wanted to give real support on the ground to the Ukrainian people. This is what the spirit of Christmas means to us.”
Partnering up with the Christmas convoy was also Slovakian non-profit ‘Aroo,’ which is experienced in providing humanitarian assistance to conflict zones.
— Lars Patrick Berg MdEP (@L_P_Berg) December 14, 2022