The Ukrainian ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, has made a flying visit to Thales in Bendigo on Tuesday to personally thank the country and the production company for its support in the conflict with Russia.
Australia has committed up to 40 Bendigo-built Bushmaster to Ukraine since the country was invaded by Russia earlier in the year.
The ambassador is meeting with City of Greater Bendigo officials, Thales staff and Bendigo MP Lisa Chesters to tour the facility and show Ukraine's gratitude for Australia's assistance.
Ambassador Myroshnychenko said keeping solders safe on the frontline was essential to allowing Ukrainians to remain in the battle to save their country.
"We are very grateful to the Australian government for providing Bushmasters to the Ukrainian war effort," he said.
"They are proving to be crucial to our battle plan and I am honoured to be able to travel to Bendigo and sincerely thank the men and women that build the Bushmasters."
At the beginning of July, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese committed to sending a further 20 vehicles to the front.
Bendigo MP Lisa Chesters said it was a great honour for the Ukrainian ambassador to visit Bendigo and tour the Thales manufacturing facility where the Bushmasters are built.
"I will never forget the moment the Ukrainian President in his address to the Federal Parliament asked if the Australia government could assist his country by supplying Bushmasters," Ms Chesters said.
"Bushmasters are credited with saving over 300 ADF personnel and are now proving their capabilities in Ukraine.
"Bendigo has a proud defence manufacturing history. Our Bushmasters are one of our great success stories."
Bendigo mayor Andrea Metcalfe previously met Ambassador Myroshnychenko when he addressed the National General Assembly of Local Government in Canberra.
Cr Metcalf said it was a privilege to welcome Ambassador Myroshnychenko to Bendigo.
"Like many cities and towns around the world, Bendigo adds its voice to those expressing sympathy with the Ukrainian people as we all continue to be shocked by this senseless and destructive war," she said.
"We are very proud that the Bushmaster is made locally and is serving a critical role in the war effort. It is an honour to have the ambassador visit Bendigo and for our community to reiterate its support to Ukraine."
Council has announced the Rosalind Park Conservatory will tonight be lit in yellow and blue in honour of Ambassador Myroshnychenko's visit.
What is a Bushmaster?
Bushmasters are armoured military vehicles that are manufactured by Thales Australia at its North Bendigo factory.
They are designed to protect troops from bomb blasts.
Many Bushmasters have been equipped with machine guns and other comparatively light armaments in Afghanistan.
Currently, Australia's army has 946 Bushmasters in stock.
More to come
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