The public in Latvia in just four days raised over EUR 500,000 to buy a Turkish-made Bayraktar drone for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Latvian LSM portal reported on Aug. 20.
A total of EUR 536,304 had already been raised as of the morning of Aug. 21. More than 15,000 people have already taken part in the campaign.
The head of the Ziedot.lv charity, Ruta Dimanta, urged more people to contribute. According to her, a donation does not have to be large.
“There are quite a lot of us,” Dimanta said. “The working population is about 700,000-800,000 people. If everyone donates EUR 5-10, we can quickly reach the planned goal.”
Latvia’s Ministry of Defense supports the campaign and has pledged to purchase a drone and deliver it to Ukraine when there are enough funds.
The campaign was announced on Aug. 16. The cost of one drone is EUR 4.5 million. As of 4.00 p.m. on Aug. 17, Latvia had already raised EUR 331,577 on the ziedot.lv platform.
Poland raised PLN 22.5 million (about $5 million) in late July to purchase the Bayraktar drone for Ukraine.
Earlier, in June, Turkey decided to transfer another Bayraktar drone to Ukraine free of charge, for which Lithuanian journalist Andrius Tapinas had managed to raise $5 million.
Serhiy Prytula, a Ukrainian TV presenter, together with Ukrainian blogger Ihor Lachenkov, raised the $16 million in just three days, originally to purchase three Bayraktar drones – but the money raised was enough for four.
The Bayraktar company stated on Twitter that it would not accept payment for these Bayraktar TB2 drones, and would send three of them to Ukraine for free.
The Ukrainian Come Back Alive foundation said on June 26 that it had implemented its largest project and purchased the Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial complex worth $16.5 million, which includes three attack drones. The foundation received a permit to import military goods in March 2022.