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SDF helmets used on front lines of combat in Ukraine

Courtesy of Stanislav Bilyi
Ukrainian soldier Stanislav Bilyi is seen wearing a helmet provided by Japan.

KYIV — Self-Defense Forces helmets provided by the Japanese government to Ukraine have been found to be used by Ukrainian soldiers on the front lines of combat with Russian troops.

Stanislav Bilyi, a Ukrainian soldier who uses an SDF helmet, called a “Type 88,” expressed his gratitude to Japan during an interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun, saying that assistance from far-away Japan made him feel that the whole world is supporting Ukraine.

In March, Tokyo provided Ukraine with bulletproof vests and other SDF equipment at the request of Kyiv.

In Ukraine, where fighting with Russian forces is intensifying, young men have volunteered to join the military, and it appears that the SDF equipment has been supplied to such volunteer soldiers and others.

Bilyi, 30, volunteered for military service in late February, immediately after Russia began its invasion of his country, and received an SDF helmet at a military facility the following month. He is now serving on the front lines of combat in Kharkiv, where Russian troops have again ramped up their offensive. Bilyi said that he and his fellow soldiers have found the helmets useful as they wear the Japanese helmets in the trenches during artillery fire.