Crowd funding may help free Ukraine as over £6.85m gets donated to the military budget

Crowd funding has been used to help fund the Ukraine government in its effort to stop pro-Russian separatists.

After Ukraine's president Viktor Yanukovych fled to Russia the defence ministry issued a plea for help. It was clearly under-funded and its armed forces were too poorly supplied to work effectively.

The next four months saw a reported £6.85 million donated from various online campaigns. One was over mobile where users sent text money in – this raised £1.6 million.

One campaign, called Wings Phoenix, has over 35,000 followers on Facebook and has raised £500,000. It's mission statement reads: "Our task is to provide the Ukrainian army with clothes and shoes, protect and improve it as soon as possible."

The majority of the money has gone to assistive supplies like food, medicines, toiletries, bullet-proof vests, helmets and binoculars, rather than weapons.

Some donations go directly to soldiers like the wounded. Activist Nataliya Vetvitskaya uses 16,000 Facebook followers to get donations while visiting the wounded in hospitals.

There are claims that Russia is using social media to recruit separatist fighters to resist the Ukraine army, according to Novaya Gazeta newspaper. Ukrainian officials say that without this drive the conflict would not have been fuelled as well and would have been resolved long ago.

READ: Crowd funding website Kickstarter becomes the next to be infiltrated by hackers



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