By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 28 May 2022 • 15:09
Lithuanians organise donation drive to buy Bayraktar drone for Ukraine
Reported by Euronews on May 28, hundreds of Lithuanians are said to be donating money to enable the purchase of a Bayraktar drone for Ukraine.
Throughout the war Lithuanians have been showing solidarity with their former fellow soviet state, this time by buying an advanced drone that can be used to help repel the Russian invaders.
Within three days of launching the fundraiser, Laisves TV, a Lithuanian internet broadcaster that launched the drive, said they had raised three of the €5 million needed. Most of the donations have according to the site come in the form of small amounts from people up and down the country.
Agne Belickaite, 32, who donated €100 as soon as the fundraising launched on Wednesday, told Reuters: “Before this war started, none of us thought that we would be buying guns. But it’s a normal thing now. Something must be done for the world to get better.
“I’ve been donating to buy guns for Ukraine for a while now. And will do so until the victory.”
According to experts, the Turkish built drone has proved effective against Russian forces and their allies in conflicts in the Middle East. The purchase is being orchestrated by Lithuania’s Ministry of Defence, who plan to sign a letter of intent to buy the craft from Turkey next week.
The Bayraktar TB2 armed drones have been effectively used by Urkaine in the conflict with 36 having been bought from the Turkish makers so far this year.
Beshta Petro, Ukraine’s ambassador to Lithuania, told Laisves TV: “This is the first case in history when ordinary people raise money to buy something like a Bayraktar. It is unprecedented, it is unbelievable.”
Belickaite added: “While governments of the world’s largest countries are endlessly deliberating … Lithuanian society simply comes together and, you know, is about to fundraise €5m and buy the drone – which is an impressive message to the world.”
Up until recently, the majority of the weapons supplied to Ukraine were Soviet-built arms still in the inventories of eastern European NATO member states. That situation is now changing with many countries starting to supply more sophisticated and modern weapons.
While most countries have raised money to help Ukraine, Lithuanians have taken a different approach as they raise funds to buy a Bayraktar drone for use in repelling Russian advances.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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