Zelensky launches crowdfunding platform to help win Ukraine war

Zelensky launches crowdfunding platform to help win Ukraine war
3 min read
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that 'all funds will be transferred to the national bank of Ukraine and allocated to the relevant ministries,' in a video on his Twitter page.
President Zelensky called on ordinary people around the world to help Kyiv, as Russia continues its military aggression [Getty]

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday launched a global crowdfunding platform to help Kyiv win the war with Russia and rebuild the country's infrastructure.

"In one click, you can donate funds to protect our defenders, to save our civilians and to rebuild Ukraine," Zelensky said in English in a video on his Twitter page, launching the United24 platform.

"Every donation matters for victory".

Nine weeks into Russia's invasion, Ukrainian cities have suffered vast destruction.

"All funds will be transferred to the national bank of Ukraine and allocated to the relevant ministries," Zelensky said, indicating that his government would give an update "every 24 hours" about how the money was being used.

The Ukrainian leader called on ordinary people around the world to help Kyiv defeat Moscow.

"Only together we have the potential to stop the war and to rebuild what Russia has destroyed."

He said Ukraine will always remember the contributions.

War bill hits '$600 billion'

Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmygal told a news conference that preliminary economic losses from the war are estimated to be about $600 billion, adding that most of the losses should be covered with "money from the aggressor".

Ukraine also needed between $4 to $5 billion a month just to cover the budget deficit, he said, flagging the crisis in its all-important grain exports with six of its largest storage facilities hit by missiles.

"Russia is provoking a food security crisis. Now millions of tonnes of our grain are blocked in our ports," he said, urging the international community to pressure Russia "to organise corridors to transport grain to countries which badly need it".

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Ukraine is a key global supplier of grain.

Since the start of the war, Ukraine has reached out with various fundraising efforts, initially saying it was accepting cryptocurrency donations and publishing its official donations address on Twitter.

Then in mid-March it launched an "Aid for Ukraine" website in partnership with crypto-firms FTX and Everstake with all donations funneled to Ukraine's central bank.

Offering donors the chance to give in 10 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, ether, tether and dogecoin, the campaign was an immediate hit with its official website tweeting on March 19: "Over $60M contributed, with $10M donated in a few days!"

Kyiv has received Western military aid, but its army remains far smaller than Russia's.

Zelensky, 44, has addressed parliaments around the world on an almost daily basis, appealing for support amid Moscow's attack.