Mobile saunas may not seem like the best strategy when thinking about supporting an army in times of war, however, on the Ukrainian front they are playing an important role.
Ilmar Raag, an Estonian filmmaker and aid worker, has taken the lead in creation of mobile sauna units with crowdfunding designed to serve hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers, According to a report published by the BBC.
These saunas are more than just a heat source; They are equipped with showers and washing machines for military uniforms. To protect them from Russian fire, these saunas are carefully camouflaged.
The importance of saunas on the Ukrainian front
Saunas are playing a crucial role in boosting the morale and hygiene of Ukrainian soldiers at the front.
Estonia’s strong sauna culture makes it a natural choice for this initiative. Saunas are an integral part of Estonian life and They are much more than just keeping you warm during cold winter nights. They are a means of maintaining hygiene and providing a morale boost.
Estonian soldiers have a long tradition of traveling in mobile saunas. This practice began almost a century ago during Estonia’s fight against the Bolsheviks, when a sauna train was parked near the front. This allowed troops to bathe and disinfect themselves after long periods in the trenches.
According to Ilmar Raag, he found out that Ukrainian soldiers often went days or even weeks without washing or removing their boots. This situation highlights why Estonian saunas are considered a godsend by frontline commanders.
Estonia and Ukraine: Baltic nations step forward
Estonia, along with its Baltic neighbors Latvia and Lithuania, has shown exceptional solidarity with Ukraine. These nations, which endured decades of Soviet occupation after World War II, deeply empathize with Ukraine’s plight in the face of a Russian invasion.
In terms of aid contributions relative to the size of their economies, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have surpassed major nations such as the United States and the United Kingdom.
According to Germany’s Kiel Institute, which tracks contributions to Ukraine, only Norway surpasses them when long-term commitments are considered.
The conflict in Ukraine has reshaped the geopolitical landscape, highlighting the commitment of neighboring nations and increased vigilance against possible threats.
The mobile saunas, among other initiatives, symbolize the efforts these nations are willing to make to support Ukraine during these difficult times.
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