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Mateusz “Exen” Wodziński delivers cars to the fighting Ukrainians. “They are very helpful”

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Since the beginning of the war, he has been to Ukraine over 40 times, and his help is invaluable. Mateusz Wodziński – pseudonym “Exen” – together with his team, he has already renovated and delivered 85 off-road vehicles near the front. It delivers them where they are needed most.

Mateusz “Exen” Wodziński has returned from another trip to the east. Behind him and his team three thousand kilometers on Ukrainian roads and wilderness. – This is already my fortieth trip to Ukraine – says Mateusz “Exen” Wodziński, a volunteer delivering cars to the Ukrainian army.

The “Exena” team has already handed over 85 off-road vehicles to Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers. They leave several times a month. They go as far as they can. – We try to take cars as close to the front as possible, to the units that are fighting. To shorten that time. So that the soldiers can pick up the car as soon as possible and return to what they have to focus on, i.e. fighting – explains Mateusz Wodziński.

Ukrainian soldiers near Bakhmut prepare for battleReuters

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The power of support

It all started in the summer of 2022. Following the reports from Ukraine, the volunteers noticed that the conditions near the front are similar to those in Podlasie. – My friend and I brought the first car for ZSU in June. Well, that’s how it turned out. A friend set up a fundraiser. People pay, we buy these cars – explains Łukasz Popiełuszko, a volunteer delivering cars to the Ukrainian army.

Usually these are several years old or even older vehicles. They get a second life in a workshop in Lviv. Before they go to the front, the cars get a new suspension, tires adapted to local conditions and matte paint that does not reflect light. Functionality is more important than aesthetics. The make of the vehicle does not matter. Must have four wheel drive.

– Let there be a pickup: it’s the most universal for the army. For medics (…) it is supposed to be long. So that there is a minimum of one meter eighty in the back, to put the wounded man’s stretcher in. A divorcee, i.e. recognition, even two-door cars, small enough to fit everywhere, light – explains one of the volunteers.

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Measurable help

Some of the vehicles supplied by the “Exen” team survived on the Ukrainian front for only a few days. Others last up to ten months. This is an important element of front-line logistics. – Not everyone can drive tanks, and not everyone can fly planes. Infantry moves thanks to such cars. They are very helpful – assures Iwan, a volunteer from Lviv.

After each expedition, Polish volunteers return to normal life only for a moment, because they are about to start planning the next one. They collect cars, repair them and go to the other end of Ukraine. We can’t buy weapons, so we deliver off-road vehicles to the Ukrainian army, say Polish volunteers. According to the Ukrainians themselves, this support is as important as planes, howitzers or tanks.

Main photo source: TVN facts

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