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This article was published 1/2/2017 (1566 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Manitoba has donated five ambulances to Ukraine to assist in bringing more medical aid to people affected by the ongoing violent political conflict.
The Manitoba ambulances were among 10 ambulances supplied through the Ukrainian-Canadian Congress (UCC) "Ambulances for Ukraine" project for use by medical institutions across Ukraine, a press release from MP MaryAnn Mihychuk (Kildonan-St. Paul) on Wednesday stated.
The other five ambulances came from Quebec, Ontario and Alberta.
The release said the ambulances were officially transferred in Kyiv on Monday by the Embassy of Canada, the UCC, and international aid organization Caritas Ukraine.
"I am very proud to work with the UCC and bring humanitarian assistance and support to people in Ukraine who need it most," said Mihychuk in a statement. "The UCC is doing critical work in Ukraine’s most vulnerable areas, and our office worked hard to get the support we needed from Global Affairs Canada."
The conflict between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russia rebels has killed nearly 10,000 people - many of them civilians - since it started in 2014. The fighting began when Russia annexed Ukraine's southern Crimea peninsula and pro-Russian rebels attack the eastern part of Ukraine.
During increased violence this week in the town of Avdiivka, an unspecified number of civilians have been killed and injured. The BBC and Time reported Tuesday that Ukrainian military representatives said the rebels turned down the government's offer for a cease-fire to allow the dead and wounded to be moved. In the military, at least 10 soldiers have died in fighting this week with 24 injured. At least four rebel fighters died and seven were injured.
In Avdiivka, there was widespread damage to infrastructure and thousands were without water and electricity in bitterly cold conditions, with temperatures plunging to -20C at night. There may be evacuations of those living in the area.
The European Union and the U.S. State department have called for "an immediate, sustained ceasefire" to allow medical aid and infrastructure repair.
John Holuk, chairman of the Ukrainian-Canadian Congress’ Ukraine Appeal, the project received widespread support from community partners.
"I’d like to extend my sincere gratitude to all the volunteers, partners, sponsors, and donors who have made Ambulances for Ukraine possible," Holuk said in the release.
Ambulances for Ukraine was made possible thanks to financial assistance from the Governments of Canada, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, as well as private donations from Children of Chornobyl Canadian Fund, Ukrainian Canadian Congress Manitoba and Saskatchewan Provincial Councils, League of Ukrainian Canadians and Cosbild.
In addition, ambulance services from across Canada contributed trauma supplies and medical equipment. Crestline Coach Inc, Ferno Canada and Demers Ambulances refitted and equipped the ambulances for service while Roy Foss and Jubilee Ford in Canada provided spare parts for ongoing maintenance and repair.
The release stated that four of the ambulances will be used as mobile clinics in cities in the Kharkiv region: Pervomaysk, Valkiv, Bluyzyuky, and Barvinkove, providing mobile assistance to vulnerable populations. Three more ambulances are headed to hospitals in Ternopil, Chernivtsi, and Kharkiv, in addition to four fully-equipped ambulances that had previously been provided to military hospitals in Kharkiv, Dnipro, and Vinnytsia in September of 2015.