War in Ukraine: Ukrainian MP's campaign to crowdfund money for weapons raises enough to buy howitzer

A campaign launched by a Ukrainian MP to crowdfund money to buy weapons for his country’s fight against the Russian invasion has raised enough money to purchase a self-propelled artillery howitzer.

The campaign, which is thought to be the first time crowdfunding has been used to buy artillery to fight a war, has raised ten million hryvnyas (£235,000) in two weeks.

Organised by Oleksii Goncharenko, the Member of Parliament for Odesa and his network of Goncharenko centres, the artillery piece funded by the Ukrainian public has already been handed over to the military where it will be used on the frontline. The piece, named "Gvozdika", met all standards for use in the Ukrainian Armed Forces and will serve with the Ivan Bohun 1st brigade.

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The campaign was organised in response to the military’s international calls for aid and fulfilled a specific order request by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. This campaign marks the first time that volunteers in Ukraine have been able to buy a self-propelled artillery piece for use on the front line.

MP Oleksiy Goncharenko has headed a crowdfunding campaign in Ukraine to buy weapons.
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Mr Goncharenko said children as young as five had held fundraisers to contribute to the crowdfunder.

He said: "We have always said that nothing is impossible for Ukrainians. Older people, children, doctors and teachers, visitors to Goncharenko centres and anonymous citizens donated. Our people are simply incredible and united in their desire to win.”

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A member of the Ivan Bohun 1st brigade said: “Now we will definitely meet the enemy with flowers, only with very special, fiery flowers.”

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