Ukrainian volunteers have used a new method of fundraising to support the war effort against the Russian invasion that has been ongoing since February 24th.
The appearance of slogans, ornate symbols and encouraging phrases on American weapons has become an increasingly profitable method of fundraising for Ukrainians in the war, according to the Washington Post.
The American newspaper said that Ukrainian crowdfunding sites have raised tens of thousands of dollars to support the Ukrainian war effort.
These sites offer the opportunity for ordinary people to donate to the war by writing slogans and drawing symbols on weapons supplied to Ukraine by the United States before they are launched at the enemy.
Among the phrases written on the arms is “Glory to Ukraine.” In a separate location, a Ukrainian soldier carried a “hello from Texas” shell in a medium-range cannon.
The most prominent crowdfunding group, Sign My Rocket, began selling the letters on Soviet-made 82mm mortars for $30 each.
As the war dragged on, the group’s co-founder, Anton Sokolenko, realized that if they sold letters on more powerful weapons, donors from the United States, Britain, Germany, Canada, Switzerland and elsewhere would pay more.
“We got bigger shells. 95 percent of the requests are in English and most of them are from the United States,” Sokolenko said. Sign My Rocket has now outgrown mortars and sells engravings on anti-tank mines, bomb-laden drones, VOG-17 grenades, 220mm rockets, 2S7 Pion heavy artillery and dozens of other explosives, according to photos and videos reviewed by The Washington Post. Mail”.
Sokolenko says his organization has raised more than $150,000 for the Ukrainian military through dozens of messages sent by supporters, such as “From NATO with Love,” “London says hello” and “Remember the Alamo.”
Most recently, the organization marked the Buk surface-to-air missile with the message “Not for use on Malaysia Airlines” – a reference to the downing of a commercial airliner in 2014 by pro-Russian separatists armed with the same missile system, in a disaster that killed 298 people.
The fundraising effort has not been officially sanctioned by the Ukrainian military. But Sokolenko’s organization relies on his unofficial ties to Ukrainian military units on the ground.
The proceeds go towards the purchase of equipment for Ukrainian military units, including camouflaged vehicles and auto parts.
After collecting a donation, Ukrainian soldiers engrave the required phrase or sign on the ammunition and take a photo or video of it before firing it at the enemy.
“I’ve already donated $3,000,” said Colin Smith, director of an e-commerce company in Dallas, who has dedicated artillery shells to friends and family for birthdays, anniversaries and job promotions.
A few weeks ago, a Ukrainian citizen working in information technology launched a similar website to collect donations for the purpose of writing letters about ammunition and weapons.
The employee, Nazar Gulik, called on foreigners to support the Ukrainian military through his RevengeFor website, especially those with historical animosity towards Russia.
In just three weeks, RevengeFor says it has raised $52,000 from a group of donors from the United States, Canada, Germany, Britain, Poland, Hong Kong, Belgium, Georgia, the Czech Republic and Norway.
The group sends its proceeds to Come Back Alive, a Ukrainian charity that provided troops with military vehicles and surveillance tools.
Golik says he and his contacts are negotiating a new offer: naming ammunition rights to the US High Mobility Artillery Missile System “HIMARS”, the weapon widely credited with slowing Russia’s military advance in the east and south .
“It’s next,” he said. “We want to make it more expensive: $10,000 or more.” Many of the inscriptions contain derogatory phrases directed at Putin or Russian forces that are out of print.
A foreign diplomat in Kiev said the sight of Ukrainian troops drawing stronger slogans on ammunition was reminiscent of the 19th-century oil painting “The Response of the Zaporozhian Cossacks”.
In the painting, Cossacks from what is now modern Ukraine gather around a table and write a letter of increasingly offensive insults to the Ottoman sultan who sought their loyalty.
“The tradition of resistance is strong,” said Ukrainian historian and professor at the Catholic University of Ukraine, Yaroslav Hrytsak. He noted that “humor” and “obscenities” have long characterized Ukraine’s response to foreign occupation.
“It can be kind of cruel humor,” he added.