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FAQs About This Program To Assist Ukraine

Why are you doing this?

Razoyo has worked with Ukrainian developers since we first became involved with Magento a decade ago. We have learned to appreciate them and their contributions to the world of open-source software in many realms, but, especially, in ecommerce. Find out more about that here.

When Russia invaded, we simply could not sit on our hands and do nothing. In a few days we started accepting contributions, within a week, we had shipped equipment that was in use. At that point we were hooked and decided to keep going after more difficult tasks like shipping body armor (highly regulated).

What happens to my donation if Russia retreats from Ukraine?

Even if that happens in the blink of an eye, due to the senseless and horrific shelling of residential areas, hospitals, schools, and so on, the need for support will continue.

After opening the champagne, we will stop taking donations. Any remaining funds will be donated to the Red Cross.

Do you give updates on the situation in Ukraine?

While we are not a news outlet, the reporting by mainstream media in the USA has been, frankly, abysmal. Thus, I understand the desire to get more information. I post updates on LinkedIn and we update the main project page relatively frequently. If you are looking for news on Ukraine, I highly recommend you follow individual Ukrainians or #ukraine has tags on social media rather than watch any form of cable news.

How much does body armor cost?

Not all body armor is the same. You may see pricing in the US for body armor (vests with plates) for $450 to $600. This is usually NIJ Level II armor. While effective against small arms fire and usually appropriate for police, Level III and above are appropriate for combat situations.

Level III armor, shipped to destination costs us just over $900.

Helmets cost about $300.

Why Level III Armor?

  • The USA has export restrictions on armor over Level III.
  • Poland, where we stage equipment before going to Ukraine, has restrictions on sales above Level III.
  • Level IV vs Level III sourced in Eastern Europe costs about $200 more per person.
  • The Russian military uses the much smaller 5.45x39 rounds now, so Level III armor will overperform in most situations.

Doesn’t the military provide body armor? Aren’t billions of dollars in military aid pouring into Ukraine right now?

Yes, but more are needed.

I don’t know the entire situation in Ukraine and can only speculate about how much body armor has been provided. My speculation is that hundreds of thousands of sets have been delivered. However, over a million Ukrainian men and women are actively fighting the invaders. My guess is that this is where the gap comes from.

You also have to consider that body armor needs to be replaced from time-to-time due to:

  • Taking fire. It doesn’t protect forever. Plates that have taken a few rounds need to be replaced.
  • Stolen. When the Russian invaders move through, if they find a cache of body armor, they will steal it.
  • Abandoned. If a Ukrainian soldier needs to move quickly to get out of a bad situation. He or she will leave it behind if necessary.
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