Lithuanian TV presenter and public figure Andrus Tapinas raised EUR 5 million to buy a Bayraktar TB2 military drone for the defenders of Ukraine in just three days, but suffered a personal tragedy at the same time – the death of his father.
The fundraising campaign started on May 25 and by the evening of May 28, during a special broadcast, the journalist announced he had already raised the required amount – by the end of the broadcast, 5,074,037 euros had been raised.
The journalist wrote on Facebook that the special broadcast on May 28 was the most difficult in his life, as during it he had got news of his father’s death.
“I will probably never have a more difficult live broadcast,” Tapinas said.
“Like the last days, waiting for the inevitable. Life is a master of irony. When, at the moment of our triumph, the phone next to me rings, and I can't answer the call, although I know what it means... My dad left tonight – after an unbelievable fight he said ‘enough’ and went on his last journey.”
Ambassador of Ukraine in Lithuania Petro Beshta said that this is the first case in history when the general public had raised enough money to buy something like a Bayraktar, news agency Reuters reported.
Tapinas earlier agreed with the Lithuanian and Turkish authorities to buy a Bayraktar, which he called “a terrible killer of the Russian military.”
He said that in this way Lithuania was not only buying a drone but also attracting the attention of the international community and setting an example – raising the fighting spirit of Ukrainians and demonstrating how Lithuanians support the Ukrainian people.