Latvian public collecting Bayraktar combat drone donations for Ukraine

As the Russian war in Ukraine continues, the Latvian people have decided, with the support of the Ministry of Defense and charity “Ziedot.lv”, to donate a “Bayraktar” combat drone to Ukraine, authors of the initiative said on August 16.

“Bayraktar TB2” is a Turkish-produced remote-controlled unmanned combat aerial vehicle or drone that has become renowned for its effectiveness. It has also entered Ukrainian folklore, becoming the subject of songs, dances and hundreds of Internet memes.

A total of €5 million is needed to purchase a drone for Ukraine.

In an interview with Latvian Television on August 16 morning, head of charity donation organization Ziedot.lv Rūta Dimanta said that the organization was listening to Ukraine for the collection of donations for specific purposes. The authors of the initiative are Latvian musician Ralfs Eilands and Ukrainian journalist Volodymyr Biriukov.

“Of course one drone probably won't decide the outcome of the war. But it is important for the Ukrainian side that they feel and see that support is still there,” Dimanta said.

She added that the opportunities of the Latvian people to donate to Ukrainian aid were not so great anymore. "You don't have to donate large sums. There are relatively many of us – approximately 700-800 thousand people able to work. If we commit €5 or €10, we can achieve this goal very quickly,” said Dimanta.

Latvia is not the first country whose residents have decided to express their support for Ukraine by collecting donations to this aircraft. Similar initiatives have already taken place, for example in Poland, Lithuania, Norway and Canada. The Bayraktar manufacturer has also won plaudits for refusing to supply its weapons systems to Russia and in several cases for donating drones to Ukraine to allow money from public fundraising efforts to be spent for humanitarian purposes. 

To make a donation to this or other good causes, you can visit the Ziedot.lv website: https://www.ziedot.lv/en/latvijas-bairaktars-4320

By early Monday evening more than 160,000 euros has already been donated, and by Tuesday morning this had risen to nearly 275,000 euros.

 

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