The fundraising campaign asks people from across the globe for financial support to buy fighter jets for the Armed Forces of Ukraine and help them defend their country.
A video featuring a Ukrainian pilot wearing a helmet with the visor down, walking in front of a damaged aircraft has gone viral. He stands in front of the aircraft and appeals to the viewers for donations so that Ukraine can buy operational fighter jets to defend their country.
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The pilot says in English, “Help me to protect my sky, filled with Russian planes that bomb my land, kill my friends and destroy our homes and everything I have ever known.”
He and other pilots have launched a website #buymeafighterjet.com and seeking crowdfunding to buy fighter jets as the Russia prepares for the second phase of the war, targeting Ukraine's eastern region.
According to the website the estimated average cost of a fighter plane is $25 million. It also lists the combat jets that the Ukrainian Air Force currently operating such as, Su-25, Su-27, Su-24, and MiG-29.
The website reads, “We need your help! We need a fighter jet! Whoever you are – a businessman, an IT specialist, an actor or a singer, whichever nationality you are or country you live in - you can help us to stop the terror.”
The website , which has all the details and an email address, said that since the start of the war it had asked NATO and the US to provide Ukraine with fighter jets to counter Russia. So far, the US or its allies have not provided any fighter jets to Ukraine.
A detailed chart of aircraft type, location, and availability is also linked. However, donors are requested not to contribute directly and use the email address provided on the website.
At the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, several EU countries announced that they would supply Ukraine with MiG-29 fighter jets and arms. This plan, however, was blocked by the Biden administration, citing concerns about how this would reflect on the NATO alliance, and if it would spark further nuclear tensions with Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hit back saying, "Listen: We have a war! We do not have time for all these signals. This is not ping pong! Do not shift the responsibility. Send us planes.”
Ukraine's Air Force is said to have 210 military aircraft including 98 combat aircraft, according to the Flight International 2022 World Air Forces database.
As per a military blog, Oryx, estimates suggest that Ukraine has lost more than 30 fighter jets in the six weeks of the conflict.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)
First Published: Apr 18, 2022 2:08 PM IST