Ukrainian Crowdfunding Appeal Raises Almost $10m in 24 Hours to Buy Kamikaze Drones

The Ram II kamikaze drone

A crowdfunding appeal aimed at funding the purchase of kamikaze drones for the Ukrainian military has raised $9.6 million in 24 hours.

The appeal followed a succession of Russian attacks on Ukrainian cities, believed to be retaliation for the destruction of an essential bridge in Russian-occupied Crimea. Ukrainian officials have claimed that civilians are being deliberately targeted in the attacks.

Organizer of the appeal Serhiy Prytula said the money raised so far will be used to purchase an initial 50 Ram II drones, unmanned aerial vehicles which can carry 3kg of explosives, along with three control stations.

Further munitions would be secured as more funds were received, he confirmed.

“They wanted to scare us but we united even more. Remember: never infuriate Ukrainians. Never. The people have donated for the revenge, so we will ensure the revenge happens,” Prytula said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told G7 leaders on Tuesday that Russia had killed 20 people in his country using a variety of munitions in indiscriminate attacks on Ukrainian cities over the previous two days.

“The enemy has used more than 100 cruise missiles, dozens of different drones, including Iranian Shaheds,” Zelenskiy said, speaking to the leaders by video link. “And every 10 minutes I receive a message about the enemy’s use of Iranian Shaheds.”

Zelenskiy said that Ukrainian intelligence believed Russia had ordered 2,400 Shahed-136 kamikaze drones from Iran, and called on the west to provide his country with better air-defense systems.