The Lithuanians, without planning it, started a worldwide challenge when they raised over €5 million on social media to buy a Bayraktar unmanned combat aerial vehicle for the Armed Forces of Ukraine in a matter of days. Now the Norwegians and Canadians have joined in.
In Norway, a nation-wide fundraising campaign has started to buy a Bayraktar for Ukraine. It was initiated by Bengt Erik Waldow, a Norwegian lawyer, who opened a campaign on the Spleis crowdfunding platform.
Its aim is to raise $5.5 million. By Tuesday, July 19, the Norwegians had donated $13.9 thousand. The campaign ends in 79 days.
"Let’s give a Bayraktar from the Norwegians to the Ukrainian people — show your solidarity with Ukraine's fight against Putin. Lithuania raised one Bayraktar in three days, Poland is raising three Bayraktars, and Ukraine raised three Bayraktars in a few days. Norway should do the same. And we have to beat the Swedes! We need less than ten krones from each Norwegian," says the message on the fundraising page.
In Canada, they also decided to organize their own campaign to buy a new "bird" for the AFU. It was initiated by the UHelpUkraine non-profit organization. The aim is to raise 7 million Canadian dollars and give Ukraine a Bayraktar for Independence Day on August 24. On July 19, the donations had added up to nearly C$12.5 thousand.
"Across the globe, our allies in Lithuania, Ukraine, and Poland have raised millions of dollars through grassroots fundraisers to ensure and conduct purchases of the well-known Bayraktar drone. It is due time for Canadians to step up and do the same," says the message on the fundraising page.
Raising money to buy a Bayraktar for the AFU
Lithuania was the forerunner in this endeavor. In late May, they raised €5 million to buy a Bayraktar drone for Ukraine in three days. The campaign was initiated by Andrius Tapinas, a TV host and influencer. When the UAV producer, Baykar, learned about the Lithuanian initiative, it said that it will give Lithuania the drone for free. The drone is known to be in Ukraine already.
On June 22, the Serhiy Prytula Foundation announced the start of fundraising for the purchase of Bayraktar strike UAVs for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The fundraiser was planned to last a week, June 22 to June 29. However, our fellow citizens raised ₴600 million in only three days, which would have been enough for four drones. Baykar announced that they would give the AFU three Bayraktars for free and asked to use the money in the aid of the Ukrainian people.
In late June, journalist Sławomir Sierakowski, inspired by the Lithuanian and Ukrainian examples, also organized a fundraiser to buy a Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat aerial vehicle for the AFU in Poland. As of July 19, the Poles had raised 17.4 million złoty of the required 22.5 million.