Military hardware stores in UK run out of bulletproof equipment as Brits rush to help Ukraine war effort

"Their hearts are in the right place, but their experience isn’t”


Military hardware stores in the UK are running out of bulletproof equipment as individuals volunteering to fight alongside military forces in Ukraine get kitted out, GB News can reveal.

Demand for helmets and bulletproof vests has surged, with many shops even running out of stock.

Owner of Frontline Army Surplus in Southampton Chris Smith said streams of individuals have been coming into his store purchasing protective equipment with the intention of heading to Ukraine.

He showed GB News reporter Rosie Wright the last combat helmet left in-store.

"This will stop shrapnel, it will be protective, but I have none of these left – usually I wouldn’t sell one of these in two months," he said.

Boris Johnson and NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg meet NATO troops
Boris Johnson and NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg meet NATO troops

Mr Smith expressed grave concern for the untrained Brits requesting equipment and wanting to “stop what they’ve seen on TV".

He explained: “Some individuals are really wanting to help but they don’t have the knowledge and experience to do something, but they're still going out there.

“I’m not sure if they’ll be more of a hindrance than a help. Their hearts are in the right place, but their experience isn’t.”

The shop owner also worries that the protective equipment being bought is not sufficient to stand up against the weapons Russian troops are using.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said earlier in the week she would support British individuals who want to join Ukraine’s force in their fight against Russia.

“That is something people can make their own decisions about. The people of Ukraine are fighting for freedom and democracy, not just for Ukraine, but for the whole of Europe. Absolutely, if people want to support that struggle, I would support them in doing that,” Ms Truss said on BBC One’s Sunday Morning programme.

However, her statement contradicts Foreign Office advice against all travel to Ukraine and Boris Johnson has openly said the Government is not actively supporting UK volunteers going to join the fight against Russia.

On Monday, one British man told GB News he was “prepared to die” for Ukraine in their plight against Putin’s invasion.

Antony Zamparelli, a 56-year-old father of seven, said he believed the only way to end the war is if citizens step up to fight.

“My wife and children aren’t too happy about it but I think it’s something I need to do. A lot of people are suffering at the moment, I’ve got military experience," he said.

“They’ve got boots to the ground and I think that’s what we need. The people that have got military experience or even if they haven’t and they’re willing to fight for freedom they should go out there."

Like many other people this week, Mr Zamparelli went to the Ukrainian embassy in London where he was given a number to contact that would give him further details.