Ukrainians have stepped up and started an online crowdfund to raise money for the “people’s drone.” In Ukraine, Donetsk formed the “Donetsk People’s Republic” and Luhansk split to form “Luhansk People’s Republic.” Fighting is non-stop in the regions between the pro-Russian forces and Ukrainian army. The pro-Russians receive “humanitarian aid” from Russia, but Ukraine is cash-strapped and the army is in need of supplies.
From The Guardian:
The organisers had originally hoped to buy a state-of-the-art Israeli drone – for $165,000 (£97,000) – or a cheaper American one costing $120,000. In the end, however, they managed to build the drone for just $35,000. A designer and other volunteers built the airframe, with a Ukrainian military institute chipping in technical equipment. The hope is that with enough drones the army will be able to stop the infiltration of men and material from neighbouring Russia. Kiev says there is overwhelming evidence that the Kremlin has supplied heavy weapons and even old tanks to the rebels. Moscow denies this.
Russia can deny it all they want, but Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov admitted Moscow sends “humanitarian aid” and one of the Donetsk militia leaders said the aid is military equipment. Three Russian tanks crossed the border and NATO released satellite images to support the claim.
David Arakhania, an IT executive from Kiev, started the project after he visited Chonar in Kherson.
“We found them in bad shape. They were wearing torn bulletproof vests and camouflage gear. So we decided to collect money and buy new outfits for them,” he said. “After that we bought everything the boys needed,”
During the first three weeks he raised $34,000 and it went up to over $59,000 the following week. The project is welcomed in Kiev and three members of parliament provided almost $63,000 in donations. Arakhania said the money will also be used to supply snipers.
The armed forces deteriorated under ousted Russia-backed President Viktor Yanukovych. The soldiers buy their own clothes and weapons.