A US non-governmental organization of Ukrainian Americans has had 300 to 400 bullet-proof vests donated by police officers stolen and intended to be sent to Ukraine, New York police and the association announced on Thursday.

A “burglary” was observed on Wednesday morning at the headquarters of the NGO Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), in lower Manhattan, where “about 400 bullet-proof vests had been removed from the place” where they were stored , told AFP a spokeswoman for the New York police (NYPD). “There have been no arrests and the investigation is continuing,” she said.

A UCCA spokesperson confirmed that around “three-quarters of the body armor was missing” earlier this week, but neither the NGO nor the police “know who” was behind the theft and ” why and how” it could have taken place.

Vests for aid workers

These second-hand vests had been donated by the police on Long Island, the island where the New York neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens are located, and were to be sent to humanitarian workers in Ukraine and at the borders of this country to deliver food. aid truck, according to the spokesperson. The UCCA says it oversees dozens of Ukrainian-American organizations in the United States, a country that is home to an estimated 1.2 to 1.5 million Ukrainian Americans and Ukrainians.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a number of American associations have been mobilizing, particularly on the east coast, to raise funds, collect and transport to Eastern Europe food, clothing, medical products hygiene, medicines and non-lethal light military equipment such as bulletproof vests and helmets.

The US government and Congress released a staggering $13.6 billion in emergency aid to Ukraine in March, including $2.6 billion in humanitarian aid, $1.4 billion in support for refugees fleeing Ukraine and $6.5 billion for the Pentagon.

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