STORY BY STEPHEN J. THORNE
Working out of his home in Texas, a former United States Air Force sergeant is making a list and checking it twice. He calls himself War Santa and he already knows who’s naughty and who’s nice.
Working anonymously, War Santa exploits the knowledge and connections he made working in military intelligence to procure equipment and deliver it to Ukrainian soldiers, Americans and other foreign fighters in Ukraine.
Since March, he’s shipped or hand-delivered nearly US$130,000 in high-end drones, night-vision devices, encrypted radios, winter clothes, uniforms, helmets, body armour and more to special-forces units, demining teams and artillery units, along with Ukraine’s leading intelligence agency and 92nd Mechanized Brigade, a former rifle division that purged its Soviet honours and heritage in 2015.
Polish volunteers provide vital assistance in getting some of the more sensitive military supplies through the Polish-Ukrainian border.