Postimees visited several garages in the Ukrainian city of Lviv and its environs to inquire about the prices for repairing or reconstructing vehicles used by Ukrainian fighters and front line medics in the battlefield, and discovered that the guerilla-ambulances built by Estonian charity organization Slava Ukraini in Ukraine can be constructed at a much lower price than claimed so far.
Head of Slava Ukraini Johanna-Maria Lehtme has said that for the NGO, the vehicles were reconstructed for 3,500 euros a piece. The reason why Slava Ukraini decided to have the vehicles reconstructed in Ukraine was that the works would have been even more expensive in Estonia.
"In Estonia, the price per vehicle is around 6,500 euros, whereas there, it can be done for 3,500 euros," Lehtme said in a recent interview with the daily Eesti Paevaleht.
The works are simple and require no special equipment or skills. It was a conscious choice by Slava Ukraini to make the cars robust and simple, so that anyone can drive and repair them.
Having shown the list of works and design drawings of the vehicles around in Lviv and its environs, Postimees received an offer in the city of Staryi Sambir to carry out the works for free. Prices are higher in Lviv, and at three garages, the offers were between 150 and 250 euros. Due to the vehicles contributing to the defense effort of Ukraine, discounts were offered by various garages and the prices ranged from 100 to 140 euros.
Postimees managed to find one garage in an industrial district of Lviv offering to carry out the works for more than 1,000 euros, with the price being 1,200 to 1,500 euros more specifically. This offer also included materials and spare parts, however.
According to Lehtme, building guerilla ambulances costs 3,500 euros in Ukraine, which is the price Slava Ukraini claims to have paid.
Postimees is not the only one to have doubts about prices in Ukraine and the money transfers made there. The supervisory board of Slava Ukraini is currently conducting a review and member of the supervisory board Kristo Tohver said in an interview to public broadcaster ERR a few days ago that there are some doubts about the prices and suspicions that the Ukrainian partner may have drawn up some documents retrospectively.