Australia’s 20 military vehicles being deployed to Ukraine have been painted with a heartwarming message in a sweet display of solidarity.
Australia has gone the extra mile in displaying its support for Ukraine by applying a sweet message to military vehicles sent to aid in the conflict.
Twenty ADF Bushmasters worth $50 million will begin their journey to Eastern Europe today after each was refitted and freshly painted in olive green.
Each vehicle also was stencilled with the Ukrainian flag and a touching message from Australia that read, “united with Ukraine”.
The embellishment features on both sides of the vehicles underneath the driver and passenger window.
Work began on the vehicles in Brisbane four days after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a plea to the Australia parliament specifically requesting Bushmasters.
The first four were set to be flown to Europe on board a C-17 Globemaster on Friday.
Mr Zelensky addressed Australia’s parliament last Thursday night via video link, asking for the armoured vehicles as part of an impassioned plea for greater military support to arm Ukrainians “fighting against evil”.
“For example you have very good armoured personnel vehicle, Bushmaster, that could help Ukraine substantially and other pieces of equipment that could strengthen our position in terms of armament,” Mr Zelensky said through a translator.
“If you have an opportunity to share this with us we would be very grateful. In Ukraine they will do much more for our common freedom and our common security than staying parked on your land.”
Scott Morrison announced last Friday the Commonwealth would send the Bushmaster troop carriers in support of its resistance against the Russian invasion, now in its second month.
Mr Morrison thanked Mr Zelensky for speaking to Australia in what he said had been a “truly majestic occasion”.
“We are sending our guns, ammunitions, humanitarian aid, all of this, our body armour, all of these things,” he told reporters.
Australia became one of the first nations to respond to Ukraine’s desperate calls for military vehicle support.
Each vehicle has been fitted with radios, a global positioning system and additional bolt-on armour, as well as protection against mines, artillery shrapnel and small arms fire.
They are also blast resistant and four-wheel-drive, having been used as part of Australia’s efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Australia may be thousands of kilometres away but we’re standing side-by-side with Ukraine against this illegal invasion with arms, equipment, aid and even energy sources,” Mr Morrison said.
“Once again Ukraine has asked for our help and once again we have stepped up.
“Our Australian-designed and made Bushmasters are known around the world for their usefulness in a combat zone and they will help boost Ukraine’s defence against Russia’s unprovoked and illegal violence.
“This fight is important because not only are Ukrainian lives and their lands at stake, but so are the principles of freedom and the rule of law.”