Ukraine Launches Website to Crowdfund Fighter Jet

Ukraine Launches website to Crowdfund Fighter Jet
Credits: Buy me a fighter jet / Youtube

Ukraine has launched an online crowdfunding campaign to buy fighter jets. Titled “Buy Me A Fighter Jet,” the campaign seeks funds from the public for new fighter aircraft to repel the Russian advance.

“Please buy me a fighter jet,” is written in bold and all-caps on the campaign website. The homepage also features a video in which a Ukrainian pilot walks toward destroyed military equipment, including fighter jets, and then looks into the camera and says, “buy me a fighter jet.”

“It will help me to protect my sky filled with Russian planes that bomb my land, kill my friends, and destroy our friends and everything that I have ever known,” the pilot adds.

The video also shows glimpses of devastated homes and towns.

“Every day we see atrocious war crimes – bombing and shelling of residential buildings, schools, hospitals, and kindergartens,” he said.

The website also lists the types of fighter jets Ukrainian pilots need. They are Russian aircraft such as Su-22, Su-25, Su-27, Su-24, and MiG-29. It said the pilots would be able to quickly master the American-made F15, F16, and F18. The website estimated the cost of one aircraft to be around $25 million.

The campaign website invites those interested in assisting to email for help finding, buying, and transferring a fighter jet to the country’s air force. Help with technical and legal issues will be provided, it says. There doesn’t appear to be an opportunity for individuals to make smaller donations.

As of Sunday, the now war-torn country had received nearly $1 billion in aid from companies and organizations, in addition to celebrities and private individuals. Bloomberg Philanthropies and Open Society Foundation donated $10 million and $25 million respectively. The IKEA Foundation donated $22 million, and the Red Cross had donated $12 million as of earlier this week, Fortune previously reported.

Among celebrities who have donated: Actors Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively each gifted $1 million via the United Nations’ refugee agency; actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, who was born in Ukraine, raised over $30 million; and Bethenny Frankel, a former Real Housewives of New York star, raised $85 million.

The U.S. has not provided fighter jets to Ukraine, and refused in March to help Poland transfer MiG-29s, Russian-built equivalents of F-16s, to the country via a U.S. and NATO base in Germany, Politico reported. Russian President Vladimir Putin could see the transfer of fighter jets to the country as an act of aggression that could worsen the situation in Ukraine, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said at the time.

In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper posted to the news outlet’s website Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he “doesn’t believe the world” and that the Ukrainians “don’t believe the words” of international leaders who fail to provide necessary assistance.

“If you are our friends or partners, give us weapons, give us a hand, give us support, give us money to stop Russia, kick Russia,” he said. “Not everyone has got the guts.”

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