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MSPO 2022: Head of Ukraine's largest ‘military' foundation identifies Kyiv's requirements

Taras Czmut, head of Ukraine‘s largest ‘military' foundation, ‘Come Back Alive', identified Kyiv's requirements to counter Russian invaders during a press briefing on the first day of the International Defence Industry Exhibition MSPO 2022 being held in Kielce from 6 to 9 September. The briefing for Polish journalists was conducted in Ukrainian with consecutive interpretation into Polish and into English personally for Janes as the only non-Polish media present.

‘Come Back Alive' is the first foundation in Ukraine to be permitted to purchase weapons, having collected more than UAH4 billion (USD110 million) since the Russian invasion began on 24 February. Czmut believes this money should be invested in systems that make a difference and change the course of the conflict, identifying Ukraine's “critical need” for ammunition, artillery shells, tanks, rifles, and aerial munition. He noted that it is more difficult to buy military unmanned aerial vehicles, night-vision goggles, and communications equipment at the state level than privately.

‘Come Back Alive' makes procurement decisions in consultation with the Ukrainian armed forces, according to Czmut. It signed a contract for an unarmed Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial system (UAS) worth USD16.5 million in May, with delivery following in June. Czmut noted that Bayraktars can be used against Russian forces in the Kherson Oblast thanks to high-speed anti-radiation missiles (HARMs), which made it possible to use them for reconnaissance and combat missions, slowing Russian logistic movements. He estimated Bayraktar losses as 12 and expected more in the future.

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