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ABC News
ABC News

Ukrainian ambassador visits Bushmaster factory, asks for more support to combat Russia

Vasyl Myroshnychenko says Australian Bushmasters are making a huge difference in Ukraine. (ABC Central Victoria: Sarah Lawrence)

Ukraine's ambassador to Australia has called on the federal government to send more armoured vehicles to support the war effort.

During a visit to Bendigo's Thales factory Vasyl Myroshnychenko thanked Australia for its donations so far, including 60 Bushmaster armoured vehicles made in Bendigo.

Forty have already been sent to Ukraine and another 20 are expected to follow in the coming weeks.

But Mr Myroshnychenko says the battle against Russia will not be won unless more military equipment is provided.

"We have several Bushmasters which are operating as ambulances, so they're used to deliver wounded from the battlefield to the military hospital where they get the treatment," he said.

"Because of the scale of this war we could benefit from more, definitely — we could make use of another 40, make it 100.

"If you look at the scale of the war in Ukraine, we have the biggest deployment of ground troops since the Second World War, so vehicles like the Bushmaster are in high demand.

"Every day Ukraine is losing about a hundred soldiers.

A Bushmaster protected mobility vehicle bound for Ukraine at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland. (Department of Defence: LACW Emma Schwenke)

Mr Myroshnychenko said Bushmasters had become synonymous with Australia in Ukraine.

"Bushmasters are actually saving lives in Ukraine," he said.

"Australia is the biggest ally outside of NATO for us — it demonstrates solidarity.

"Australia is punching above its weight in this support.

Mr Myroshnychenko took a ride inside a Bushmaster. (ABC News: Billy Draper)

Bendigo federal MP Lisa Chesters said conversations about further support would be held between the Australian and Ukrainian governments.

"It's emotional, but makes you quite humble and proud that we are making a vehicle in Bendigo that is making a difference," she said.

"It's saved lives during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, it's helped in the floods, it's helped in bushfires.

"Now it's helping in Ukraine."

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