Lithuanians raise 14 million euros to buy radars for Ukraine

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Lithuanians have donated 14 million euros ($14.7 million) to buy air defense radars for Ukraine in a month-long fundraising drive, the organizers said Saturday.

The Baltic country, a member of both the European Union and NATO, has been a major backer of Ukraine since it was invaded by Russia in February last year.

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“At this crucial moment, we must do all that is possible to guarantee our backing for the Ukrainian people,” President Gitanas Nauseda said on Friday -- the last day of the month-long collection drive and the first anniversary of the Ukraine war.

The money raised will be used to buy 14 radars, the organizers said.

“14 million euros from Lithuanians to buy radars to protect Ukraine. In four weeks. It’s from us. For now. We’ll be back,” television presenter Andrius Tapinas, one of the organizers, tweeted.

“We never expected such a result,” exulted Jonas Ohman, one of the main sponsors of the initiative.

Ohman told the Polish News Agency PAP that the radars can “detect all types, sizes and speeds of objects moving across the sky.”

A similar event was staged in Lithuania last year and raised over five million euros, which was used to buy a Turkish-made combat drone for Kyiv.

Lithuania hosts nearly 75,000 Ukrainian refugees and has pledged around 800 million euros in aid to Ukraine.

“Many call these donations but I say it’s an investment ... for our security and that of our children” Tapinas told AFP.

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