Tomáš the tank, donated by the Czech public, takes part in war

A national fundraising campaign raised over CZK 30 million to purchase the tank, which has been used by Ukraine's military.

Thomas Smith ČTK

Written by Thomas SmithČTK Published on 07.02.2023 11:10:00 (updated on 07.02.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

“Tank Tomáš ” – the tank purchased through a Czech fundraising campaign and donated to Ukraine – has already been deployed against Russian troops, ČTK writes.

Donations amassed for the tank were organized by the Gift for Putin charity towards the end of 2022. Over CZK 33 million were donated as part of the campaign, which was co-organized by Martin Ondráček.

“The war cannot be won without weapons, and Europe cannot allow Ukraine to lose,” said Ondráček when explaining his decision to raise funds for the tank.

Gift for Putin has also been collecting money for ammunition – according to Ondráček, over CZK 1 million per day were donated initially after collections began. 

As well as the tank, the charity has also – through grassroots donations – funded 15 Czech-made Viktor air defense systems, as well as ambulances and drones.

Effort at the top

The charity’s effort is a microcosm of broader state-level support for Ukraine in Czechia. The government announced Monday an information campaign designed to display – and encourage – Czech efforts to help Ukraine as the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion approaches.

"It is important for us to send Ukraine what it really needs: weapons, machines, and generators that help with supplementing energy after the Russian attacks on energy infrastructure.” - Prime Minister Petr Fiala.

The Czech National Bank recently sent two armored trucks to the Ukrainian army, and last year the Czech army sent several of its T-72 tanks to assist the Ukrainian war effort.

Indeed, despite not being a non-governmental entity, the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade is cooperating with Gift for Putin. The website (which translates to “let’s connect Ukraine”) will aim to secure the delivery of generators and other energy sources to the attacked country. Its planned launch is Feb. 14.

On its website, the charity says it has donated over CZK 385 million to Ukraine to help with arming troops and providing other military equipment. About 100,000 people have made donations.  

In December, an online live-streamed campaign raised over CZK 3 million in just four hours for the purchase of a new ambulance in the style of a Hummer H1 truck.

With little sign of the war abating, Gift for Putin continues to encourage Ukraine-bound donations, and the government has said it will maintain its current aid.

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