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Ukrainian TV star fundraises $100 million for country’s army

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When Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a “exclusive procedure” on the night time of February 24, 1 of Ukraine’s major showmen, Serhii Prytula, was on a practice heading to Lviv, the furthest metropolis in Western Ukraine, the place he was researching for a master’s of community administration at the Ukrainian Catholic College, a prestigious non-public college.

It was early early morning, when his cellular phone went off. “My wife referred to as, she explained the war has begun,” recalls Prytula speaking from his office in Kyiv. Appalled, like hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians, Prytula purchased a taxi back again to Kyiv, where by his 15-calendar year-previous son Dmytro was waiting around for him. On his way to the capital, Prytula spoke to his workforce customers, and it was in the course of that 6-hour travel that 1st outlines of an motion prepare emerged in the fog of uncertainty.  

A Ukrainian flag waves in a residential area heavily damaged in the village of Dolyna in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, after the withdrawal of Russian troops on September 24. Ukrainian troops have made gains as Russian troops have retreated in some areas of the east. 

A Ukrainian flag waves in a household place greatly ruined in the village of Dolyna in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, following the withdrawal of Russian troops on September 24. Ukrainian troops have designed gains as Russian troops have retreated in some areas of the east. 

(Picture by Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Pictures.)

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Two a long time earlier, a distinguished Tv set presenter and extremely asked for showman, he experienced established a charity basis termed the Serhiy Prytula Charity Foundation, which supported Ukrainians in need, from autistic children to cancer patients. Now his region was staying invaded by a superpower. His reaction was to start off fundraising for the Ukrainian army. Today, his foundation employs 100 folks along with dozens of volunteers.

“The Facebook web page just reminded me that in December, 2021 we experienced a conference with our donors. I explained to them our foundation has raised about $250,000. That was a accomplishment story at the instant, but today, we crossed the line – 3.9 billion Ukrainian Hryvnias (around $100 million). It feels way much better”, Prytula tells Fox News.

Over the last 11 months, the basis has donated a lot more than 11 thousand communication products, just about four thousand drones and about 900 cars and trucks to the Ukrainian army, as perfectly as over 13,000 individual first support kits, and it has organized battle drugs training for 6 thousand people.

On best of assisting the armed forces, the Serhiy Prytula Charity Foundation has shipped about 15 tons of meals to more than 250,000 citizens in war-impacted locations.

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Ukrainian servicemen ride atop an armored fighting vehicle Tuesday as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues at an unknown location in Eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian servicemen experience atop an armored fighting car Tuesday as Russia’s attack on Ukraine proceeds at an unfamiliar area in Eastern Ukraine.

(Press company of the Ukrainian Floor Forces/Handout via REUTERS)

Individual initiatives like these by Prytula Foundation are the incredibly purpose Ukrainians connect with them selves “a nation of volunteers,” adviser to the Defense Ministry Yuriy Sak tells Fox Information, recalling how Ukrainians arrived alongside one another in the experience of the annexation, and countless numbers enlisted to volunteer for the armed forces.

“Even although we knew we had a risky enemy, who quicker or later on was going to assault us, the ministry of protection wasn’t equipped to promptly supply for the freshly arrived hundreds of countless numbers of troopers. This is why through the first thirty day period or two of this war, when new troopers ended up arriving, they ended up unequipped,” Sak mentioned.

A Ukrainian flag waves in a residential area heavily damaged in the village of Dolyna in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, after the withdrawal of Russian troops on September 24. Ukrainian troops have made gains as Russian troops have retreated in some areas of the east. 

A Ukrainian flag waves in a household location greatly harmed in the village of Dolyna in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, soon after the withdrawal of Russian troops on September 24. Ukrainian troops have built gains as Russian troops have retreated in some locations of the east. 

(Photo by Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency by using Getty Pictures)

In accordance to Sak, the initial mission of “a nation of volunteers” was to guarantee that troopers were well outfitted: “So volunteer engagement was dedicated primarily to supplying issues like bulletproof vests, helmets, tourniquets, clinical kits, mainly because we knew the enemy was ruthless”.

Eleven months due to the fact Russia launched a complete scale invasion of Ukraine, Western allies are pledging a substantial weapons deal for Ukraine to protect alone from Russia’s aggression and repel its troops from occupied territories.

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Every single other military package Ukraine has obtained for the final 11 months has little by little improved, from lightweight anti-tank Javelins to the Patriot air protection battery.

In complete, the United States alone has fully commited additional than $29.5 billion in stability guidance to Ukraine given that the starting of the Russian invasion virtually a calendar year ago. 

Affiliate Producer centered out of Washington, D.C. Bureau 

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