Ukraine to get Israeli ‘clown hat’ helmet covers — report
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Ukraine to get Israeli ‘clown hat’ helmet covers — report

Though funny-looking, the large, floppy headgear has been found by IDF to be effective camouflage

An Israeli soldier wearing a mitznefet helmet cover (Wikimedia Commons/ Matanya/Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)
An Israeli soldier wearing a mitznefet helmet cover (Wikimedia Commons/ Matanya/Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

Israel is set to supply the Ukrainian military with its distinctive camouflage helmet coverings, sometimes referred to as “clown hats,” Russia’s state-owned news agency reported Tuesday.

Ukrainian soldiers will soon be wearing the large, floppy headgear, according to a Russian TV report cited by Sputnik International. However, the initial shipment was said to consist of only 20 coverings.

The Sputnik news agency is owned by the Kremlin, which has sought to discredit Kiev during the conflict in eastern Ukraine. There was no Israeli confirmation of the report.

The Israeli-produced helmet covering is called mitznefet in Hebrew and is sometimes referred to as a “clown’s hat” in English, perhaps due to its unusual look and one of the definitions of the Hebrew word — a conical hat.

In reality, the headgear was named after the turban wore by the high priests in the Temple, to which it bears a resemblance.

An illustration of a high priest from the Temple in traditional clothing, including the mitznefet head covering (Wikimedia Commons/ Gmagno public domain)
An illustration of a high priest from the Temple in traditional clothing, including the mitznefet head covering (Wikimedia Commons/ Gmagno public domain)

The mitznefet helps camouflage soldiers by breaking up the helmet’s give-away round shape and preventing light from reflecting off of it. The headgear also helps protect soldiers from sunlight.

No other countries are known to use the unusual-looking headpiece.

Kiev has been asking Western countries to provide it with military supplies as it stands off against Russian-backed forces in the country’s east. The US has provided military assistance to the Ukrainian forces, including a $75 million non-lethal military equipment shipment in March that included Humvees and surveillance drones.

The Ukrainian army has been fighting pro-Russian militants for more than a year in the country’s east in a conflict in which close to 7,000 people have been killed.

The fighting began in March 2014, when Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. Both sides agreed to a Tuesday ceasefire as schools were scheduled to reopen after summer break, although there were reports of violations.

AFP contributed to this report.

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