Lithuanians raise $5.4 million to buy Bayraktar combat drone for Ukraine

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Lithuanians donated more than 5 million euros ($5.4 million) over three and a half days to buy a Bayraktar unmanned aerial combat drone for Ukraine.

The private crowdfunding initiative, which received a green light from both the Lithuanian and Turkish defense ministries, aimed to raise the amount within three weeks to buy the Turkish-made drone and ammunition.

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Lithuanian defense ministry officials plan to head to Turkey next week to complete the deal.

The campaign, organized by journalist Andrius Tapinas, went viral in the Baltic nation of 2.8 million and donations flowed from thousands of people including teenagers, nursing home residents and former President Dalia Grybauskaite.

Lithuanians won’t “stand and watch how old Europe is unwilling to help Ukraine obtain weapon supplies,” Tapinas said.

“This is great!” said Petro Beshta, Ukraine’s ambassador to Lithuania in a live Laisves TV fund raiser, after the 5 million euro goal was reached.

“Let’s bring the Bayraktar to the front immediately, as soon as we can.”

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