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Female soldiers in Ukraine are wearing ‘huge’ uniforms and suffering yeast infections due to a lack of women’s resources on the frontlines: report

  • Ukraine’s female soldiers are battling a lack of women’s resources as they defend against Russia.

  • The Daily Beast spoke to several women soldiers who said their uniforms are several sizes too large.

  • The women said they are at risk of tripping over their huge shoes during critical fighting moments.

Tens of thousands of women across Ukraine have bravely taken to the battlefield to fight alongside their male counterparts amid Russia’s ongoing war — but many of these women are defending their country in uniforms several sizes too large, according to a new Daily Beast report. 

There are approximately 60,000 women serving in Ukraine’s Armed Forces, the outlet reported this week, citing several female soldiers who described a widespread lack of women’s resources in the military that has exacerbated the dangers already faced by Ukraine’s military volunteers.

Women described wearing ill-fitting uniforms and body armor, stumbling in “huge” men’s shoes, suffering a shortage of sanitary pads, and developing health problems due to an inability to properly relieve themselves on the battlefield.

“Try to go to the toilet in the woods at 4 degrees Fahrenheit,” a 24-year-old female soldier identified only by her first name, Julia, told the Beast. “All of us got cystitis or inflammation of the ovaries and back pain. After a year of the war we have a bouquet of all sorts of health issues.”

But Julia and her 28-year-old sister Alina, both of whom left their tech jobs to join the fight when Russia invaded last year, told the outlet that the lack of female urination devices is “the least of the problems we have.” 

Ukraine’s female soldiers are being outfitted in uniforms that are several sizes too large and are often forced to sport “huge” pants that can hinder their speed and mobility during critical moments on the battlefield, they told the outlet.

“The hardest is to run in the army’s standard, 30-pound-bulletproof vest — which just never fits snugly to the body with boobs like mine,” Alina said. “If I take the army armor off and get wounded or get killed, there would be no compensation paid to me or my family. Our lives, our security, often depend on what we wear on our body and our feet, how healthy we are.”

Runa, a 28-year-old volunteer who once was a florist in Kyiv but now commands an artillery unit, said she has been wearing uniforms that are four sizes too big for her petite frame.

More than 100 female military members have died since the war began in February 2023, according to the report — either in the fighting directly or during evacuation or press missions.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said last week that additional models of body armor and helmets for women are currently being tested in combat units and the defense ministry plans to order more soon.

Additional efforts are underway in Ukraine to address the scarcity issue, according to the Beast, which highlighted an event organized by the charity Zemliachky focused on supporting Ukraine’s female soldiers. The group recently debuted a limited collection of new uniforms designed specifically for women at war boasting lighter body army.

But the group’s founder, Andriy Kolesnyk, said Zemliachky currently only has the funding to uniform 10% of the 9,000 women in need.

“Our country is constantly under attack, so even pregnant women fight against Russian invaders until they are seven months pregnant,” he told The Beast. “I currently have requests for specially designed uniforms and other important items from at least 10 pregnant soldiers. We have shortages for every single item.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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