When it comes to the war effort in Ukraine, it’s all hands on deck. That includes passenger vehicles. A welder’s shop in Lviv is working overtime to outfit donated vehicles with steel plates, supports for machine guns, camouflage and everything else needed to turn a workhorse vehicle into a warhorse.
“Our victory depends on us,” welder Ostap Datsenko told the Associated Press. Datsenko told the outlet he expects to be called to fight, but until then he’s doing what he can to support the war effort. While before the fighting was relatively far from the shop, Datsenko happened to be preparing an armored pickup truck for the front when the war arrived in Lviv.
He had been standing on the truck hurrying to finish the job before sunset Saturday when he heard a noise, looked up and saw an object whizzing through the air.
“It was pretty large, but I’ve never seen rockets before,” he said. “Then I heard a huge explosion.”
The Russian airstrike hit a factory connected to the military, and the blast sent Datsenko tumbling. Dazed, he hurried into the garage’s makeshift bunker in the grease pit.
The bombing was so intense that the shop quickly moved its operation to the basement and grease pit of the shop. The need for vehicles is so great that only a small percentage will receive such drastic reinforcements. This may be the reason an anti-tank commander was spotted using her regular Chevy Aveo to haul around Stugna-P missiles. Many go straight to the front, laden with supplies or additional weapons.
This isn’t the first story of a shop doing its part to support Ukrainians fighting for freedom. An auto shop in Kyiv transitioned from repairing cars to adapting large, vehicle-mounted Russian weapons for Ukrainian use early in the conflict.