With the ramp-up of the summer offensive, authorities estimate up to 500 wounded soldiers per month.
During the weekend, Berlin’s newly elected mayor, Kai Wegner, announced that Ukrainian soldiers will be treated for free in hospitals in the German capital. Although previously the injured had to go through a complex social welfare procedure, now Mayor Wegner is calling for low-threshold unbureaucratic help.
Additionally, injured Ukrainian soldiers are eligible for free treatment in the rest of Germany, highlighting the administrative issues in Berlin. According to Wegner, the costs for treatment, which in some cases could include a dozen or more operations.
Kai Wegner responded to a letter by the Mayor of Kyiv, Vitaly Klitschko, asking for additional help because of Berlin’s hospitals with experience in trauma treatment. Additionally, injured Ukrainian soldiers have been treated in the Bundeswehr hospital as far back as 2014, at the start of the conflict in Donbas.
As the RBB reported, around 60 soldiers have been treated since then, but only some have had their medical bills covered by local social welfare. This development is even more relevant, considering that war injuries take a significant amount to heal and treat properly, with some of the wounded staying in Berlin for more than a year.
Coupled with the large pay gap between a Ukrainian soldier’s salary when compared to living standards in Berlin, facing a paywall would hardly serve any side of this agreement. Kyiv Mayor Klitschko also pointed out that with the ramp-up of offensive operations, injured soldiers would rely even more on help from German medical facilities, with up to 500 wounded soldiers expected per month.
Wegner was quoted by the DPA explaining that no Ukrainian soldier would have to bear the costs of treatment – that would be the social welfare office’s responsibility. Additionally, Berlin’s mayor pointed out that he would reach out to the Federal Defence Minister Boris Pistorius to explore other ways to support the wounded.