Ukrainian volunteers make ‘trench candles’ for troops from tin cans | The mighty 790 KFGO
By Dan Peleschuk
KYIV (Reuters) – A group of Ukrainian volunteers have made “trench candles” from tin cans for troops serving on the front line as a war-triggered energy crisis takes its toll on both armed forces and civilians.
Russian forces are increasingly targeting Ukraine’s infrastructure, including power plants and the power grid, causing regular power cuts and disrupting water and heating supplies.
Trench candles consist of empty enamel paint cans and pet food cans filled with corrugated cardboard and paraffin wax – and most importantly, they provide heat as well as light. Candles have been used by troops in previous conflicts, including World War II.
“(The candles) can be used to dry out a trench, cook food, which is very important, boil water and warm people,” said Nino Nazarova, 28, an organizer of the initiative.
When Nazarova got 10,000 cans from a factory in northern Ukraine a few weeks ago, she thought it would take months to turn them all into trench candles, but volunteers completed the task during a Sunday event at a cultural center in Kyiv, singing Ukrainian folk songs. while they were working.
“These cans come with a lid. So you can close them, throw them in boiling water, heat them up and then put them under your coat,” she said.
The initiative has so far delivered more than 3,000 multifunctional candles to Ukrainian trenches in the south and east of the country, Nazarova added. Candles can burn for up to five or six hours.
Polina Sheremet, co-organizer, said the more Russian missiles rained down on Ukraine, the stronger their motivation to help the military became.
“People’s desire to donate and help grows along with the risk of missile strikes and other attacks. This is how human nature works,” she said.
Some children joined their parents in Sunday’s candle-making session, including Hordii who had come with his mother to help.
“At first it was (the war) really scary, but now I’ve gotten used to it a bit,” he said as he handed out strips of cardboard to the volunteers.
(Reporting by Dan Peleschuk; Editing by Gareth Jones and Alexandra Hudson)