Coventry restaurant's Ukraine aid effort appeals for bulletproof vests and bandages

Bullletproof vest alongside current donations in Coventry
Ukraine aid collectors are now appealing for items like bulletproof vests to help those fighting the invasion Credit: Julian Stratenschulte/DPA/PA Images (left)/Slovianka Polish & Ukrainian Restaurant (right)

Restaurant owners in Coventry have appealed for items like bulletproof vests and bandages, to send onto soldiers and civilians in Ukraine fighting the Russian invasion.

Teams at the Slovianka Polish and Ukrainian Restaurant on Far Gosford Street have already been inundated with donations of clothing, toys and blankets. But they say they also want to send items that will help those left fighting in Ukraine, to defend themselves.

What are they appealing for on behalf of soldiers ?

Bulletproof vests


Night visors

Lights with batteries

Survival clothes

Thermal clothing, warm socks

Sleeping bags

Wifi camera



Donation bags pile up at the restaurant Credit: Slovianka Polish & Ukrainian Restaurant

They have already collected a huge amount of donation bags of other items. On their Facebook page, the restaurant wrote "And these are only the first few hours. We don't know what to call it ourselves. You are wonderful, great people."

What are they appealing for on behalf of civilians?

Individual first aid kits

Socks for children and adults

Cleaning products for adults and children

Toothbrushes, toothpaste

Shaving machines

Bedsheet, blankets, towels

Teddy bears

It comes as the branch Chairman of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB) in Wolverhampton, says Ukraine needs aid, military assistance and volunteers "to fight these Russian troops".

Andrew Duda, who was born in the Black Country to Ukrainian parents, has cousins, aunts and uncles in Lviv near the Polish border.

The city has become a transport hub for refugees heading westwards, fleeing the heavy fighting to the east and south.

Andrew Duda Credit: PA Media

He said "I've been in contact with my family in Lviv, but that's pretty quiet at the moment.

There's been some bombings of strategic areas but generally speaking it's been left alone.

It's where the refugees are coming in, and heading to the border with Poland. It's scary, extremely scary."

Mr Duda, who's 58, was last in Ukraine in 2013 to celebrate their Independence Day weekend.

He said he had received "some phone calls" from people in the UK wanting to travel to fight the Russians in Ukraine, and said he had referred them to the embassy in London.

He said "Anybody that does want to fight, we've been told to advise them to contact the Ukrainian embassy in London.

I'm not sure what the procedure is once people get to the embassy, but that's what we've been told. It feels personal - very much so.

My immediate concern is for the welfare of Ukrainian citizens, and for what our cities will look like after this is over - destroyed, basically.

They are destroying people's homes, so they'll have nothing to go back to. But what I really want is for this military assistance; in weapons and in people who want to fight for Ukraine to go out there.

I really want to see that happen, so they we can fight off these Russian troops."

Mr Duda said the AUGB's own Help Ukraine Emergency Appeal on GoFundMe had already raised more a million pounds.

He said "We are taking donations directly at the club, but we could get overwhelmed with it as well, so we are also directing people to the British and Polish Red Cross."

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