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Slovaks raise €2 million for shells for Ukraine as government fails to back Czech initiative

19 April, 2024 Friday
18:46

Slovak citizens, who didn't support the government’s position of not joining the Czech Republic's initiative to purchase ammunition for Ukraine, have raised almost €2 million on their own

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This is reported by Sky News.

"When I heard about the Czech government's initiative, I was very pleased to hear that all ways are being sought to help Ukraine defend itself against the [Russian] aggressor, because there is no other way," said Otto Simko, a 99-year-old Holocaust survivor and journalist who helped spearhead the Slovak crowdfunding campaign.

At the same time, he emphasized that Russia needed to be expelled from Ukraine so "peace can be spoken of on terms that suit Ukrainian independence".

On April 18, LRT reported that Slovaks do not support their government's position on the war in Ukraine, which did not join the Czech initiative to purchase ammunition, so they are raising money on their own.

It noted that more than 20 countries have joined the Czech initiative to purchase ammunition for Ukraine, but the Slovak government did not participate in the campaign, stating that the conflict "has no military solution," and sending weapons to Ukraine "will only prolong the war."

Therefore, the Slovaks decided to help Ukraine on their own. Over EUR 700,000 were reportedly raised in two days.

"We cannot accept the fact that our government refuses to help our neighbor. Let's prove that Slovakia is not a coward and is on the right side of history by providing public funding for ammunition. Let's help Ukraine, despite our pro-Russian government," the organizers of the campaign say.

The support campaign was organized by several civil society organizations and supported by well-known public figures and fighters.

"It was impossible to negotiate with the aggressors, they had to be defeated. This experience of the Second World War also applies to Ukraine," said Otto Šimko, a nearly 100-year-old Slovak partisan who was imprisoned in a Nazi camp during World War II, in a video supporting the campaign.

But government officials still disapproved of the campaign, with several ministers saying it would only prolong the war.

  • On April 17, media reported that Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico told members of the European Affairs Committee that Russia would never return the occupied Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk to Ukraine.
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