82-Year-Old Retired Doctor Uses Life Savings To Buy Ambulance for Ukraine

Retired German doctor uses life savings to buy ambulance for Ukraine

Photo: huettenhoelscher/Depositphotos (Not a photo of the actual ambulance.)

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in early 2022, countries around the world have stepped up to supply Ukraine with aid and arms to fight the war. But equally important are the contributions that individuals have made, whether it be personally running supplies across the border or fundraising. For 82-year-old Reinhard Kleine, a retired German doctor, it was imperative to help, no matter what the cost.

So Kleine, whose uncle was the famed World War I fighter pilot known as the Red Baron, used his entire life savings to give his support to Ukrainians. For €25,000 (about $26,000), Kleine purchased an ambulance. He then refurbished and stocked the vehicle before personally driving it from Berlin to Kyiv. The nearly 950-mile trip took about one day, and Kleine was assisted by several volunteers, who pitched in on driving duty.

“I know that Ukraine really needs support now,” he shared. “So I don't feel sorry for this money, even though I spent everything I had.”

This isn't Kleine's first experience in Ukraine. After the 1986 Chernobyl explosion, he came over to lend his medical expertise and help children affected by the tragic event. When Putin's forces invaded in February 2022, Kleine knew that he had to help once again.

“At home in Germany, I sheltered women from Ukraine. There was even a pregnant woman among them,” Kleine recalled. “It's terrible when people are forced to leave their homes to escape the war.”

Kleine was motivated to buy the ambulance because he knew what a valuable tool it would be for the troops. Proper medical care in the field is imperative, and the ambulance will give medics on the front lines a safe space to work on the wounded.

Now that the ambulance has been delivered to  Kyiv, it will be repainted before heading out into the field. As for Kleine, he's headed back to Berlin but is already thinking about how he can help further and raise the funds to do so.

An 82-year-old retired German doctor spent this live savings to buy and deliver an ambulance to Ukraine.

82-year-old German Reinhard Kleine spent all his savings, €25,000, on an ambulance for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. He drove the vehicle from Berlin to Kyiv himself. Now it will save the lives of Ukrainian soldiers in the Bakhmut direction.
byu/PjeterPannos inukraine

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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