Here is the full epic story with the Ministry of Defense:
Early August, 2014 - decision to create the Phoenix battalion made. On BTR-70s (APC), since there are no others left in the country. But there are no operational BTR-70s in the country. You need to pick them up from the warehouses in Artemivsk where they are stored in deep, deep conservation and then you need to conduct an overhaul. So we dragged 16 BTR-70s from Artemivsk to a plant in Mykolaiv.
Late August, 2014 - we receive information that the third battalion will get BTR-80s. It is unclear what we dragged the BTR-70s for, but there is no such thing as too much armor. It becomes impractical to invest in repairing the BTR-70s and we postpone it.
Mid-September, 2014 - no, the battalion will not get BTR-80s, only BTR-70s. There was grunting in the battalion, but there was no alternative. We began to accumulate funds for repair.
Late September, 2014 - distinguished guests pass on BTR-70s freshly coated with diesel fuel (as if they were painted). The vehicles miraculously survive the sluggish movement on the parade ground (one of them even catches on fire). But, a miracle happens - it turns out they will be repaired at the expense of the Ministry of Defense. Very cool.
Early October, 2014 - without waiting for the money from the Ministry, volunteers from the Peacemaker fund dragged the first BTR-70s to Yuzhnoukrainsk, where they conducted a thorough overhaul at their own expense. The vehicles became like new, everything rebuilt, restored, painted.
Late October, 2014 - the Wings of Phoenix Fund agrees with the colleagues on joint financing. We are now transferring 500,000 hryvnia (appr. $40,000), which should cover the repair of another three vehicles. Yesterday, these APCs had been towed to the plant. Along the way, I checked with Kyiv - overhaul for the money of the Defense Ministry is not expected. They really want to, but in the first six months of the ATO so much equipment was lost that there is a deficit of funds for repairs - modest amount of 270 million hryvnia is needed.
Yes, we are now paying 500,000 and we will try to collect more and more. Well, of course we can wait for the money from the Ministry, of course we can hope for a miracle. But here's the problem - the battalion is about to leave for the ATO and they have no equipment. And when people in comments angrily call to continue the active phase, to clean the mold from our land, I simply ask one question - on what? On buses? Or bicycles?"
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79th Air Mobile Brigade
Bank card: 5168 7572 3217 4575 Yurii Biriukov, the Wings of Phoenix