Ukraine spent US$54M in crypto donations on drones and other military expenses

The embattled country received US$ 60 million in crypto donations to date.
August 22, 2022 - Cynthia Chung

Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, shared how some of the US$ 60 million of the country’s crypto donations have been spent in the wake of Russian invasion into the European nation earlier this year.

Fedorov tweeted the breakdown last Wednesday, which revealed the government had spent some of the US$ 54 million worth of crypto funds to purchase lethal weapons and launch an English news platform. Another US$ 6 million has yet to be spent.

Among the expenses, unmanned aerial vehicles (or drones) were the highest cost which the government spent US$ 11.8 million to purchase. Followed by US$ 6.9 million on armored vests and US$ 5.7 million on computer hardware and software.

‘Thanks to the crypto community for support since the start of the full-scale invasion,’ Fedorov tweeted.

In an interview with CoinDesk, Bornyakov said that more than US$ 5 million of the crypto donations spent on ‘weapons requested by the Ministry of Defence’ were ‘lethal weapons.’

This detracts from his original statement that his government would only spend on non-lethal weapons with the crypto donations.

Bornyakov explained the lethal weapons were ‘defense weapons, not offensive ones,’ but on being asked what are ‘defense weapons' he responded ‘no comment.’

Russia invaded Ukraine in February, which prompted the country to launch multiple crypto donation drives to support its military efforts. Many crypto exchanges also joined western governments to impose sanctions on Russia. 

On February 26, the Ukrainian government posted its Bitcoin, Ethereum and Polkadot addresses for donations to ‘Stand with the people of Ukraine.’ 

A week later, the government received a total of US$ 50 million in crypto donations.

Polkadot co-founder Gavin Wood donated US$ 5 million to Ukraine and US$ 200,000 CryptoPunk NFT as well as a US$ 1.26 million donation from selling an NFT by Julian Assange and digital artist Pak.

Similarly, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin donated US$ 2.5 million Ethereum to the country to defend against Russia’s onslaught. He facilitated the purchase of 31,000 medical kits, 364,000 medical supplies, and 585 radio kits, among others.

Furthermore, TIMEpieces, the Web3 community and NFT initiative from TIME magazine launched Artists for Peace, a collection of unique NFT artworks on OpenSea to raise money to support humanitarian and relief efforts for Ukraine. According to TIME, collectors have already minted over 10,000 NFTs from 99 collages of images to date.


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