Lithuanians have raised over five million euros to buy a military drone for Ukraine, to help it defend itself against the Russian invasion.
The money needed to buy the Bayraktar TB2 drone was raised in three and a half days, in a fundraising drive that ended on Saturday evening in the Baltic nation of 2.8 million inhabitants, RTBF reports.
"It’s probably the first time in history that the citizens of one state have been able to buy and donate such heavy weapons to another state,” commented opinion leader Andrius Tapinas, founder of the local online TV channel Laisves TV, which launched the initiative.
Laisves TV said it would transfer the funds to the Lithuanian Defence Ministry which, in turn, will buy the drone and the required ammunition.
Defence Minister Arvydas Anusajskas stated on Sunday that his deputy would leave for Turkey early next week to sign a letter of intent for the purchase. “There will be a lot of paperwork,” he warned journalists. “However, we expect to receive a good welcome from everyone.”
Ukraine began deploying Turkish combat drones from the early days of the invasion. According to Kiev, they have proven to be a particularly fearsome weapon against the Russian forces.