Ukrainian mom-turned-soldier who asked US for help critical after landmine blast

0
23
Ukrainian mom-turned-soldier who asked US for help critical after landmine blast

A Ukrainian mom-turned-soldier who recently made an urgent plea to Americans for armored vehicles was seriously injured when the civilian car she had to use in the war zone ran over a landmine, the Post has learned.

Andriana Arekhta, 34, was found unconscious, without a pulse in the Kherson region, last Thursday and airlifted to Odessa for medical treatment, Daria Kaleniuk, executive director of the Kyiv-based Anti-Corruption Action Center, told The Post. 

Arekhta was listed in critical condition with a broken arm, shoulder, jaw, ribs and with damage to her spine, stomach and lungs.

“Her survival is a miracle but there is no final diagnosis yet,” Kaleniuk said.,adding that it will be a difficult and painful recovery. 

Arekhta had recently gone back to the front lines in Ukraine’s war against Russian aggression after visiting the United States, where she had talked to the Post about how badly heavily armed vehicles were needed.

“We call it the Toyota and Mitsubishi war. We need Hummers, or any kind of armored vehicles. They save lives,” Arekhta said last September. 

Andriana Arekhta
Andriana Arekhta was found unconscious, without a pulse in the Kherson region.
William Farrington

“Civilians bring cars and trucks to the frontlines, while NATO countries have stockpiles of armored Humvees, Bradleys and more,” Kaleniuk said, adding that the armored 
vehicles currently sent are “twenty years old, come with no spare parts and break down after a few days.”

Arekhta, who holds a master’s degree in public policy and has a six-year-old son, Makar, gave up her day job to fight for her country.

Her husband, Max, is a Ukrainian commander in the army. The couple met on the frontlines. Almost one quarter of all people in the Ukrainian armed services are women. 

One out of every three casualties in the war come from landmines, Kaleniuk said. 

ukraine
Arekhta was listed in critical condition with a broken arm, shoulder, jaw, ribs and with damage to her spine, stomach and lungs.
AP/Nina Lyashonok
ANDRIANA AREKHTA
The Ukrainian mom of a six-year-old son quit her job to fight for her country.
William Farrington

 Kaleniuk last talked to Arekhta two days before her injury. 

“She was updating me from the frontline and what their needs were. She said we’re losing our best people because we have no armored personnel carriers,” Kaleniuk said.

“It means we have somebody dying every day because we have no armored carriers. It’s pointless, useless death and damage. Just simple light armored Hummers would save lives. If she had that, she would have been fine. But if you are driving in a civilian car, your chances of survival are 90 percent.”

The Ukrainian army was so underfunded and undersupplied that when Arekhta first started fighting in 2014, she was wearing sneakers instead of combat boots. 

ukraine soldier
Arekhta had recently gone to the front lines in Ukraine’s war against Russian aggression.
AFP via Getty Images/ Bulent Kilic

In her recent interview, Arekhta also wanted to thank the US for the weapons the country already sent. 

“Your weapons are saving lives,” said Arekhta, for whom a PayPal account, Aarekhta2@gmail.com has been started.

“This is a battle for democracy itself. If we fall, Europe is next,” she said back in September.  “Please send more weapons. They will help us end the war faster before we lose even more young men and women.”

Source link