A well-organized financing effort is providing private money and equipment to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia.
The donations are being raised through crowdfunding activities. Crowdfunding is when money is raised from a large number of people who each give smaller amounts to a cause. The efforts are generally publicized and operated through the internet.
The financing system is helping to support Ukrainian resistance as Russia continues its military offensive in Ukraine. Russian forces invaded the country on February 24.
The Ukrainian side has heavily depended on financial aid and military assistance from Western nations during the conflict. But the crowdfunding efforts demonstrate how Ukraine is also getting help from large networks of private donors and volunteers.
Technology and strong organization are helping drive Ukraine’s crowdfunding activities. The fundraising systems can turn millions of dollars in donations into fast deliveries of war equipment directly to the battlefield.
The crowdfunding efforts use websites to seek needed materials. The system is supported by online payment systems. Volunteers can also get involved and donate their skills and experience in areas such as buying and delivering military equipment.
Among the materials received through crowdfunding are drones -- equipment designed to help troops see on the battlefield and vehicles.
Last week, a Ukrainian television star and politician Serhiy Prytula appealed to the public for $15 million in donations to buy three Turkish-made military drones. His request went viral online. Prytula later announced that the appeal had raised $20 million in under three days. That amount was enough to buy four of the military drones.
Prytula is head of an organization that is raising money for Ukraine’s military effort and for humanitarian aid. The group is currently one of Ukraine’s biggest crowdfunding efforts for the war.
On the other side, some Russians are also donating supplies to support their own country’s troops. But the Russian efforts are not nearly as organized or widespread as the crowdfunding activities in support of Ukraine.
Experts say one reason for this is because Russia has been downplaying the size, reach and cost of its invasion. Russian officials have repeatedly called the invasion a "special military operation."
The West sees the war in Ukraine as an unjustified act of aggression by Russia. The conflict has killed thousands, displaced millions and destroyed cities. It has also affected world exports of important goods such as food and energy supplies.
A Russian government-supported crowdfunding campaign was started in early June. A group called the United People’s Front launched the campaign. The Russian government created the organization to seek public support. The group has made appeals for military equipment and medicines.
Mikhail Kuznetsov helps lead the United People’s Front. In an appeal for the organization, he said, “The guys on the front line who are dying for the right to be Russians, who are fighting for our common freedom, will greatly appreciate any help you can offer.”
Kuznetsov added: “They will win in any case, but they will win faster and with smaller casualties if we help them.”
I’m Bryan Lynn.
The Associated Press reported this story. Bryan Lynn adapted the report for VOA Learning English.
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Words in This Story
deliver – v. to transport things from one place to another
drone – n. a self-piloted vehicle
downplay – v. to make something seem less important or bad than it really is
appreciate – v. to enjoy and recognize the full worth of something
casualties – n. people who are injured or killed in an accident or war