CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice announced today that the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) will aid Ukraine by providing armored personnel carriers for use against continued Russian aggression.
Following a request from the Department of Defense (DOD), the West Virginia Army National Guard will give an undisclosed number of M-113 Armored Personnel Carriers (APC) to Ukraine as part of a drawdown of DOD inventories to support the country.
M-113 APCs are used to move Soldiers and equipment across the battlefield while providing protection from small arms fire and the effects of artillery.
“By joining with other states in sending numerous of these armored vehicles to Ukraine, we hope and pray that this will give Ukrainian forces a major leg up in their defense of their home country,” Gov. Justice said. “In West Virginia, we will always stand up for what’s right, which is why we stand united with Ukraine and will continue to help in every way possible, especially as we continue to learn about the war crimes and other atrocities that continue to occur in this unprovoked and intolerable attack on a nation and its people.”
Today’s announcement is West Virginia’s latest effort to help Ukraine combat the unprovoked attack by Russia. Last month, Gov. Justice announced that he had directed the WVNG and the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security to help Ukraine by collecting unused or recently expired ballistic vests from law enforcement agencies across the state. The Governor also called on the West Virginia Legislature to join him in pledging $5 million in assistance for a Ukrainian maternity and children’s hospital that had been bombed by Russian military forces.
In February, Gov. Justice announced that he had issued an Executive Order, directing the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration to cease the purchase and sale of all Russian-produced liquor until further notice, while simultaneously making Ukrainian-produced liquor brands available for purchase by licensed retail liquor outlets.
“With Putin choosing to continue his deadly assault on Ukraine, he has shown us what he truly is: a monster and a madman,” Gov. Justice said. “He’s blown up maternity hospitals, innocent people are being killed every day. Despite all the sanctions placed on Russia from across the globe, Putin continues his unyielding path of destruction, tearing apart family after family. As I’ve said several times, if he’s not going to stop on his own, we need to make him stop. We can’t be afraid to act. We are America. We need to do something about it.”