Yulia Sydorova's dream of becoming a fashion designer exploded in a barrage of tank fire on February 24, when Russia invaded Ukraine.
Yulia Sydorova wearing a stylised national Ukrainian costume, during the "Burning Man” event. Photo provided by Yulia Sydorova.
She found herself dressed in battle fatigues, her country at war, her call sign "Cuba".
It is not the first time a 35-year-old has fought for her country. In 2014 she trained as a paramedic in the war against Russia, serving in hot spots like Piski, Shyrokino (near Mariupol), and Avdiivka.
What she did next
Together with other women veterans, she founded the Women's Veterans Movement "Ulf", a rapid response unit getting urgently needed ammunition and medical supplies to wounded troops on battlefields and civilians inside devastated cities and villages.
“Back to the army”, photo provided by Yulia Sydorova.
With a fleet of their vans, they have delivered 30 pickups and five jeeps, bulletproof vests, helmets, thermal imagers, tourniquets and other vital ammunition.
Volunteers have already rushed supplies to Kharkiv and Mariupol in the Donetsk region and Bucha, Irpin, and Hostomel in the Kyiv region.
Although working side by side with the Ukraine Army, they are not a funded army unit. Instead, they rely on private donations from individuals and organisations like United with Ukraine.
Cuba is back on the battlefields, rescuing not only people but animals if they need help.
"We desperately need money to buy supplies", says Yulia. "People need medical supplies. They need food. They need water.
"The army needs more ammunition. Our unit is searching for an armed ambulance vehicle as we return to the Eastern parts".
"We need so much help.”