GOOD TOURNIQUETS SAVE lives. Bad ones kill soldiers. The global market is awash with cheaply-made knock-offs: Handles that shear off under tension, rubber tubes that won’t tighten around a limb, devices that fail when they’re needed most. That’s why most armies buy in bulk from trusted suppliers. But Evgen Vorobiov prefers Amazon. Top of his Wish List at the moment are combat application tourniquets (CATs) from North American Rescue (five stars from 1,720 reviewers). Also on the list: burn dressings, compact chest seals, trauma shears and “The Original Rescue Essentials Brand QuikLitter”—a black canvas stretcher which promises low-cost casualty evacuation and patient transfer.
Before Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022, Vorobiov, a lawyer, worked for the Ukrainian central bank and then on international projects trying to reform Ukraine’s financial system—“banking regulations, consumer protection, that kind of thing.” But, with Russian troops massing on Ukraine’s borders, he took some courses in tactical medicine, hoping to make himself useful if the worst happened. It did.