I founded Elijah’s Angels because of a single picture. Elijah was a 16 year old child playing soccer with his friends when Russian forces shelled his school during their illegal attack on the city of Mariupol. Severely injured, Elijah was rushed to a local maternity hospital that had been converted into one huge emergency room. He died there – heroic and exhausted Ukrainian doctors and nurses unable to save his life. The picture shows Elijah’s father clinging to his son’s lifeless body before they are separated forever.
In the days immediately following Russia’s ruthless invasion, tens of thousands of Ukranians from all walks of life bravely took up arms to defend their land and their homes. School principals, professors, bankers, musicians, artists, and countless others heroically became citizen soldiers, sacrificing their lives so the elderly and children had more time to evacuate to safety.
Unfortunately Elijah is not alone. While the defenders of Ukraine attack Russian military targets, Russia terrorists targets hospitals, shopping centers, and residential buildings. Instead of being a horrible consequence of war, the murder and torture of Ukrainian civilians is a literal part of the Russian Federation’s battle strategy. Just as Hitler strove to destroy the very notion of Jewish identity, so too does Russia strive to destroy the notion that Ukraine has its own culture and traditions. Since Russia initiated its war of choice on February 24, 2022, Ukraine has suffered catastrophic civilian losses. As of October 24, 2022 the United Nations has verified 16,150 civilian casualties: 6,374 murdered and 9,776 maimed and wounded. Exact numbers of civilian casualties can never be conclusively determined in war so the actual loss is certainly much more.
With every village and town liberated, undeniable grotesque evidence of Russian war crimes are discovered. Evidence of torture, and execution-style murders of civilians are discovered every day, the Russian in order to “cleanse” the territory once held by Russian troops. The numbers of Ukrainian non-combatants of all ages who are murdered grow every day – murdered by Russian artillery, Iranian drones targeting civilian centers and burned alive by Russia’s use of white phosphorus weapons.
As the days turned to weeks and months, with no stop to the carnage, the Ukrainian Armed Forces and members of the Territorial Defense Forces (The equivalent of the National Guard in the US) were joined by former military personnel from countries around the globe. International groups of military veterans, all called by conscience despite the risk of death and torture if captured, rushed in, and continue to come, to assist in the fight against the forces of “pure evil.”
Free nations around the world are supplying Ukraine with large strategic weapons systems: Mobile radar stations, artillery, air defense batteries, and the now-famous HIMARs are unquestionably helping to repel the Russian invaders. On the ground, however, many soldiers still face combat without basic needs. Individual defenders are fighting without the protection of tactical body armor, ballistic helmets, and night vision gear. Fighting units jump into battle without vehicles to evacuate their wounded resulting in thousands of preventable deaths. The Mission of Elijah’s Angels is to help fill that gap.
It’s hard, I know, to believe that one person can make a difference in a war half a world away, especially when we’re dealing with our own very real personal problems back home. Thankfully that’s not the case. With Elijah’s Angels, you’re not alone! Your generosity is combined with the generosity of others and literally makes the difference between life and death; the victory of democracy over the horror of unchecked autocracies. You are also a force multiplier. When you donate and convince one more person to donate and ask them to do the same, your contribution to the effort grows with each donation you helped make possible. Most of all,you can feel pride in the fact your gift helps ensure the defenders of Ukraine have the very best protection and gear with which to liberate and return peace to Ukraine.