The first ready for the long-haul route from Saldus to Ukraine are two ambulances. Further along the way, four more will join, leaving from the village of Lone. Before meeting their drivers, the vehicles have been in the hands of service workers, where various issues have been fixed. Volunteer drivers of both vehicles have traveled from Riga, and already have experience transporting vehicles to Ukraine.
In late October, the government backed the Ministry of Health's plan to donate 67 ambulances to Ukraine. Such a decision was taken following an evaluation of existing resources, stressing that some used vehicles would no longer be needed and could be donated.
Six of the cars will be donated by the municipality of South Kurzeme to its cooperation city Kamin-Kashyrskyi, while the rest will be brought to Ukraine by the association “Mūsu ligzda”.
Raina Boguža, the society's leader, said the cars would be property of the Ukrainian army and could transport those injured from field hospitals:
"They certainly won't fit the so-called removal from zero, from the front line. Specialty machinery, armored vehicles work there, but these cars are the second step in saving the lives of soldiers."
No car should go empty to Ukraine, Boguža said. Before departure, they are filled with supplies - candles, preserves, medical supplies, sleeping bags, woollen socks, shoes and other things suitable for this time of year. Around 600 Christmas presents for children living in the war zones will also be delivered.
The cars will be transported to Ukraine gradually – 30 are planned by the end of the year, and the rest will be transported next year.