But could the same skies that are now constantly rattled by explosions and gunfire also be an avenue for salvation?
One U.S.-based organization thinks so. Revived Soldiers Ukraine (RSU), one of the top nonprofits providing aid to the Eastern European nation, ordered about 200 drones from Canadian drone services provider Draganfly on Tuesday in a bid to leverage the small aircraft for soldier and civilian relief efforts.
Watch: A freight broker’s perspective on the war in Ukraine
Draganfly, which received the order through its channel partner Coldchain Delivery Systems, will immediately provide 10 of its proprietary Medical Response and Search and Rescue Drones to RSU, as well as a donation of three drone systems.
Shares of the company’s stock (NASDAQ: DPRO) are up more than 80% on the news.
“We are extremely honored to work with RSU and Coldchain Delivery Systems to support those affected by the ongoing crisis in Ukraine,” said CEO Cameron Chell. “Draganfly has a long and proud history of supporting EMS services and humanitarian aid operations globally. Our Medical Response and Search and Rescue Drones will help RSU deliver critical supplies, equipment and visual oversight.”
Draganfly’s Medical Response Drones, which are manufactured in North America, come equipped with a special temperature-controlled payload box for medical supplies such as blood, pharmaceuticals, medicines, vaccines, water and wound care kits. The box is uniquely top-mounted for safer deliveries and is capable of carrying up to 35 pounds of payload.
Now RSU will add a fleet of the aircraft to its growing logistical network across the U.S. and Ukraine, which also includes the recent purchases of 10 ambulances and 11 cars to support injured soldiers in Ukraine. By deploying drones, the nonprofit will add to that network with better access to hot spots in major cities, including Kyiv and Kharkiv, where the need for aid is greatest.
The organization has also allocated the equivalent of $19 million toward supplies for Ukrainian civilians and hospitals, which unfortunately have not been immune to the violence.
“Brave Ukrainians continue to fight for freedom, democracy and the fundamental values and principles of Western civilization,” said RSU President Iryna Vashchuk Discipio. Discipio is a recipient of the prestigious Order of Princess Olga, which recognizes Ukrainian women for their achievements in state, production, scientific, education, cultural, charity and other activities.
“There is an urgent need for medical supplies and equipment in several dangerous and hard-to-reach areas,” she continued. “Draganfly’s Medical Response and Search and Rescue Drones will play a crucial role in ensuring that those affected have access to the aid they require.”
Discipio is joined by approximately 300 other RSU volunteers across Ukraine and the U.S., with about 10 full-time members on the ground in Ukraine. The organization has already formed some supportive ties with medical facilities at U.S. schools including Yale, Harvard and Miami University, as well as with businesses like Metro Health and Brooks Rehabilitation Center.
To support Revived Soldiers Ukraine’s efforts in the region, donate here.
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