Frankenstein: National Guard shows car that became legend of 5th Slobozhanska Brigade

15 AUGUST 2023

A car with the alias Frankenstein. All photos: National Guard  

Frankenstein or, as the soldiers affectionately call it, Frankie, is a pickup truck that was donated to the 5th Slobozhanska Brigade of the National Guard by volunteers in May 2022. The National Guard showed the car to reporters and told them the story of the vehicle that saved the lives of many soldiers.   

At first, the car looked like an ordinary Mazda 2500.

The factory where the battalion’s headquarters was located had no shelter for the vehicles, so the car was under fire from Grad MLRS, artillery and tanks almost from the very first days.

Once, the vehicle even survived a remote mine explosion, when bomb disposal experts detonated mines around the Frankie because it was impossible to clear the vehicle otherwise. 

“Frankenstein was covered with pieces of concrete slabs and bricks, but after a short repair, it continued to work, saving the lives of the guardsmen,” the National Guard said.

They added that Frankie enjoyed a special “tuning” near Balakliia. Since then, the vehicle has been given the appropriate alias. 

There was no point in repairing the vehicle, as the National Guard explained, because the next time it went out, it would become a target of the Russians again.

Frankenstein immediately felt the effects of Grad MLRS, tubed artillery and tanks

After Balakliia, Frankie worked in Verbivka, Izium and Pidlyman with his brothers-in-arms, forded the Oskil River, and is now fighting in Serebrianka Forest. Every dent in his body is a trace of shock waves from explosions, falling pine trees; each ‘wound’ has its own story, as well as numerous holes from bullets and shrapnel,” the National Guard said. 

The National Guard added that more than a hundred wounded soldiers were evacuated in the vehicle. The vehicle was also used to transport ammunition and reinforcements to the front. 

The battalion’s deputy commander for logistics, who goes by the alias Tower 5, said Frankenstein has had no serious malfunctions, although the only “flat” parts of the vehicle were the engine and frame.

“And God created Frankie, and he gave him reliability, and sent him to us,” says the battalion’s deputy commander for logistics, who jokingly goes by the alias Tower 5

In the future, the National Guard of Ukraine plans to donate the vehicle to a museum, as it is “a true symbol of the National Guard’s victory.”

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  1. Awesome story! Awesome truck!
    How many vehicles do we have in storage, getting sunburned? Just askin’… It seems we can’t even give Ukraine enough basic vehicles, and so they must partially rely on donated civilian vehicles. It’s very sad.

    • My friend, who has been running a private charity since 2014, now focuses on providing used SUV’s for the ZSU.
      They raise the cash, buy the SUV’s on the open market, service them and send them to the front line.
      They wear out after only 3 months; 6 months if they are lucky.
      So the need is constant.

      • That’s a very nice effort and a great service to Ukraine that your friend is making. I respect that a lot!

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