Ministry of Defense approves first bulletproof vest for female soldiers

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Women serving in the Ukrainian Armed Forces will be issued with specially designed bulletproof vests for the first time, after the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense announced on December 27 that it had certified the samples of bulletproof vests for female soldiers.

Ukraine conscripts only men, but more than 62,000 women have voluntarily enlisted in the Ukrainian military, of which 5,000 serve in combat roles.

They typically rely on uniforms and protective gear designed for men, buy their own equipment or find supplies through nonprofit organizations.

The newly approved vests feature curved armor plates and narrower shoulders to better fit female soldiers, and are manufactured domestically by the Ukrainian Armor Corporation.

In September, the company led a campaign to draw attention to the need for bulletproof vests for women serving in the Ukrainian military.

‘She needs armor’: Ukrainian female soldier speaks out for equality

Many passersby raise their heads as they pass by the monument to Princess Olga in downtown Kiev. Some even stop and stare in amazement at the statue. The monument has been there for years, but it never attracted as much attention as it has in recent weeks.

The armor weighs at least 10.5 kilograms, no different from other armor used.

According to the Ministry of Defence, the vest was approved after two stages of testing: after the first stage of field testing, the design was refined to better fit the female body.

The certification is the first step in the process to allow female soldiers to wear the vests in combat zones.

The Defense Ministry said it first needed to determine how many vests were needed and then make arrangements for procurement, but did not give a timeline.

The Ministry of Defense approved a standard sample of summer field uniforms for female soldiers in August, 18 months after the start of the full-scale invasion.

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