The war in Ukraine could reach a "breaking point" by August and end in defeat for Russia before the end of the year, Kyiv's head of military intelligence says
AFP / Yasuyoshi CHIBA


  • A public bus was transformed into a mobile field hospital
  • The armored bus complex cost around 130,000 euros ($143,000) to build
  • Many casualties in the Ukraine war were soldiers who died while being transported from the frontlines to the nearest hospitals

A fleet of custom-built armor-plated vehicles that will soon be sent to the battlefield in eastern Ukraine is being made using donations from Romanians.

The armored vehicles, reminiscent of those used in the "Mad Max" film series, will be used to transport wounded Ukrainian soldiers and provide doctors and nurses a safe area to treat the troops who need immediate attention.

One of the vehicles that have been completed is equipped as a mobile field hospital and is intended to serve as a medical facility that can be positioned within a few miles from frontline positions, U.S. government-funded media organization Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported.

It once served as a public bus for residents in Pila in Northern Poland. The armored bus complex, which can be seen below, is now wrapped in steel and Kevlar armor so it can withstand attacks.

Photo Exclusive: The vehicles will form an armored fleet designed to save lives at Ukraine's front lines.

The project was spearheaded by Radu Hossu, an activist from Brasov, Romania, who recently gained a following on social media for reporting in his native Romanian language from the frontlines in Ukraine. The vehicles are being built by a custom car company in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

Hossu said in the RFE/RL report that the armored mobile hospital was envisioned by a Ukrainian paramedic friend he knew only by his military callsign, "Angel."

"He had this idea for a long time," the Romanian activist said.

The armored hospital complex cost around 130,000 euros ($143,000) to build. Most of that amount, which was donated by Romanians, went to the military-grade armor plating and medical equipment.

In addition to the armored bus complex, Hossu and his team will also send a truck that has an armored compartment for doctors and nurses to shower and sleep.

An extraction vehicle designed to reach frontline positions to transport wounded soldiers to the mobile hospital is also being built. The off-road vehicle was created by combining a Soviet-designed GAZ truck chassis, a Ford truck cab, and a custom-built armored cargo bay.

Hossu said that a significant portion of the casualties in the Russia-Ukraine war were wounded soldiers who died while being transported from the frontline trenches to the nearest hospitals.

One of the deaths was Hossu's close friend, Oleg Gubal. The wounded Ukrainian soldier was being transported to a hospital using a vehicle that Hossu had bought with donations from Romania when it was hit.

"He died on the road from the front line to the nearest hospital. So if this [armored mobile hospital] had existed then, he would have had a chance of surviving," Hossu said, adding that Gubal was his "guardian angel" on the frontlines in Ukraine.

"He would constantly put himself between me and danger. I always overslept, and he would wake me up and say, 'Come on, Radu, you have to go and eat now.' He was a really, really kind guy," he added.

The activist vowed to honor his friend by doing everything he can to make sure that wounded soldiers are given immediate care. Hossu said that he named the armored bus complex after Gubal as he wanted to "transform a tragedy into something good."

"The reality is this: Gubal had a young daughter and a small boy. From November after he died, up until last Christmas, his son was writing letters to Santa Claus asking him to bring his father back home," he added.

Numerous Romanians, including pensioners and those who are less fortunate, chipped in to donate money for the construction of the custom-built vehicles.

"I spoke to one old man and told him, 'Please don't do this, you need this money," Hossu said. "He told me, 'Don't take away my chance to be useful again in this world.'"

Hossu said the company building the vehicles only billed him for the salaries of the employees working on the project.

"The owner has health issues that stop him from fighting, so he wants to help with this project as his contribution," he said.

The custom-built armored vehicles are expected to leave for eastern Ukraine in early May.

In eastern Ukraine's Lugansk region, AFP saw a group of servicemen using British-supplied artillery