Ohio collecting surplus helmets, vests for Ukraine defense
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Friday the state will collect hundreds of donated helmets, protective vests and other surplus police equipment for the civilian defense of Ukraine.
Distribution of the equipment will be coordinated by the Fund to Aid Ukraine, a nonprofit organization based in Parma in suburban Cleveland, which has a large Ukrainian-American population.
More than two dozen law enforcement agencies have offered approximately 75 ballistic and riot helmets and 840 pieces of body armor, including vests and plates, said DeWine, who requested an inventory of such surplus.
DeWine issued an executive order last month, meant to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, prohibiting state purchases from Russian companies and directing state pension funds to divest themselves of Russian holdings. Attorney General Dave Yost made a similar request.
The state’s five pension funds and the Ohio insurance fund for injured workers have all said they’ve divested their Russian assets, which are a fraction of holdings but overall total just over $200 million.
A GOP-Senate bill and a Democratic House resolution are also calling for state disinvestment of Russian assets.