Lithuanians collect $4.7 million to give drone to Ukraine

Hundreds of Lithuanians banded together to purchase a sophisticated military drone for Ukraine’s fight against Russia, as a gesture of solidarity with a fellow former Soviet republic.

According to Laisves TV, the Lithuanian online station that launched the campaign, the objective of five million euros ($4.7 million) was obtained in just three and a half days, mostly in modest sums, to support the acquisition of a Byraktar TB2 military drone.

“None of us imagined that we would be buying firearms before the conflict began. However, it is becoming a common occurrence. Something must be done to improve the planet “Agne Belickaite, 32, contributed 100 euros as soon as the fundraising campaign began on Wednesday.

“For a long time, I’ve been giving to help Ukraine acquire firearms. And will continue to do so until victory is achieved “She informed the media that she was inspired in part by worries of a Russian invasion on Lithuania.

The drone has proven successful against Russian forces and their allies in Syria and Libya in recent years, and its acquisition is being arranged by Lithuania’s Ministry of Defense, which informed journalists it plans to sign a letter of intent to buy the craft from Turkey next week.

“People are re-energised by novel, unexpected fundraisers. The invasion is already in its third month… It’s critical to prevent becoming accustomed to it “Ingrida Simonyte, the Prime Minister of Lithuania, said Laisves TV.

In recent years, Ukraine has purchased more than 20 Bayraktar TB2 armed drones from the Turkish company Baykar, with a further 16 being ordered on January 27. Early in March, that batch was delivered.

“This is the first time in history that regular people have raised enough to purchase a Bayraktar. It’s unheard of, it’s astonishing “Ukraine’s ambassador to Lithuania, Beshta Petro, said Laisves TV.

The majority of NATO nations’ heavy weaponry deployed to Ukraine so far have been Soviet-built guns still in eastern European NATO member states’ stocks, but several have lately begun to send Western howitzers.

“While the world’s most powerful governments debate incessantly, Lithuanian society just comes together,” Belickaite remarked.

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