Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

North-east military veterans donating essential Army kit to Ukrainian troops on the front line

Mark Findlater with some of his Army kit due to be sent to Ukraine. Photo: Jason Hedges/DCT Media
Mark Findlater with some of his Army kit due to be sent to Ukraine. Photo: Jason Hedges/DCT Media

Military veterans from across the north-east are helping Ukrainian troops defend their homeland by donating their old field kit.

Former soldiers have been driven to action after hearing the defence forces are facing shortages in essential protective kit.

After veteran and Aberdeenshire councillor Mark Findlater and campaigner Zhenya Dove spoke earlier this month about the war, it was decided that something needed to be done.

Ms Dove, whose parents live in Ukraine, was contacted by several friends on the front line saying they badly needed protective gear.

Describing the campaigner as a “passionate advocate for Ukraine’s freedom”, Mr Findlater said troops need support.

He said: “They are in desperate need of helmets and body armour.

“They have bought bullet-proof vests from private companies which cost an awful lot of money and they don’t give the level of protection they were told they would give. They had heard that the British kit is very good and are crying out for any we can give.”

Aberdeenshire councillor Mark Findlater has been helping gather kit together to send to Ukraine with help from campaigner Zhenya Dove. Photo by Jason Hedges.

Following their talks, Mr Findlater approached Aberdeenshire Veterans group to help create a scheme where former serving personnel could donate “Gucci” kit, which are items that have been bought to supplement Army gear.

‘Everyone wants to help’

Mr Findlater, who previously served in the British Army for 23 years in bomb disposal, had a lot of gear sitting around the house.

“I bought some kit for myself years ago and it has been sitting in my shed gathering dust,” he said. “I asked my old Army buddies if they have any of their old Gucci kit as we called it and I have been staggered by the response.

“They are sending it up to me or dropping off. There is a lorry that goes over to the Ukrainian border every week and there are lots of volunteers to pick the kit up.”

Mr Findlater said they were also going to write “wee messages of support” to the Ukrainians who will be using the kit.

“I have been contacted by the Gordon Highlanders and Black Watch veterans who are only too happy to help out. The whole thing is getting quite big now but it just shows the strength of feeling for our friends in Ukraine.

“Everyone wants to help, and these old soldiers are more than happy to do something.”

‘It’s a matter of life and death for us’

Ms Dove, discussed the war in Ukraine with Mr Findlater during the Scottish Conservative conference at P&J Live, earlier this month.

Since their talks, the 33-year-old said she has been blown away by people’s response.

Ms Dove said: “The people of Scotland and the UK have been so supportive and generous. But the troops on the front need another kind of help. These are our best people putting their lives on the line so I could one day return to hug my mum and dad.”

Troops in Ukraine are badly needing helmets, Kevlar vests and protective equipment in their fight against the Russian invasion. Photo by Jason Hedges.

“Already the response has been great and there are no words to express just how grateful we all are – I am not exaggerating when I say it’s a matter of life and death for us.

“Like many Ukrainians, I came to realize that the strength is in unity and I know that the difference we can make together may just be enough to put an end to this atrocious war and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”

All kit donated will be transported by lorry to the Ukrainian border where volunteers will dispatch the equipment to troops in need.

Already a subscriber? Sign in