Today Gov. Reynolds launched Iowa’s effort to aid the people of Ukraine.

The state is providing 146 protective helmets and 714 ballistic vests to Ukraine through donations from the Department of Public Safety and 18 other law enforcement agencies. The retired equipment is past the manufacturers’ recommended service life but still in usable condition. 

The state of Nebraska contributed additional helmets and vests to send with Iowa’s donation.   

“Ukrainian men and women have taken up arms alongside their military to protect their homeland from Putin’s unprovoked attack,” said Gov. Reynolds. “Iowa has a special connection to Ukraine through our sister state relationship with Cherkasy. Today’s donation fulfills an urgent need in Cherkasy and represents an incredible team effort from the entire state. I’m proud that Iowa is doing what we can to help.” 

“Ukrainians have bravely withstood Russia’s unprovoked invasion for more than a month,” said Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts.  “As they’ve come under attack, the Ukrainian people have shown spirited resistance that has won the respect of the free world.  As they defend their homeland, Ukrainians have an immense need for protective gear.  Agencies large and small from across Nebraska have stepped up to help meet this need.  I’m grateful for Nebraskans’ generosity in donating these critical supplies.” 

The Governor’s office worked with the Ukrainian Consulate in Chicago to identify an opportunity with all appropriate federal licensing for delivery to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. 

Gov. Reynolds also announced that the state, along with Iowa Sister States, will work with Meals from the Heartland in West Des Moines to help address the immediate and ongoing food supply needs of Cherkasy. Planning is underway to send an initial shipment of meals as soon as possible, and then assess how longer-term needs may be met. Meal packaging opportunities for the public are not available at this time but will likely be scheduled in the coming weeks. However, Iowans can help with this effort now by donating to help cover the cost of shipping the meals into Ukraine. Visit for more information and to make a donation. 

Iowa’s sister state relationship with Cherkasy, a province located in central Ukraine, began in 1996. Cherkasy, similar to Iowa, has an economy largely driven by agriculture, and its capital city is the center for industry, primarily manufacturing, furniture making, and agricultural processing.  

Since the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine began in late February, Gov. Reynolds has taken the following actions to show Iowa’s solidarity with Ukraine:  
Removal of any Russian-produced alcoholic liquor products from Iowa's wholesale purchase list – February 28, 2022 

Ended Iowa’s sister state relationship with Stavrapol Krai, Russia – February 28, 2022 

Governor Reynolds proclaimed a Day of Prayer for Ukraine – March 6, 2022