A Czech crowdfunder has raised enough money to purchase a modernized T-72 tank that will be sent to Ukraine to support the country’s resistance to the ongoing Russian invasion.
The crowdfunding initiative, run by the Ukrainian embassy in Prague, raised 33 million crowns (€1.34 million) as of Monday from 11,288 donors, according to the campaign website.
“The Czech Republic became the first country where ordinary people bought a tank,” Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Yevhen Perebyinis said on Twitter.
The crowdfunder, which has previously collected money for drones and other military equipment, calls on its donors to “send Putin a gift,” urging its contributors help “expel the Russian army from the territory of free Ukraine.”
It is now accepting donations for “ammunition for Tomáš and his friends,”
“The Czechs bought the Tomáš tank for the Ukrainian army, and it must be spinning. For that, he needs ammunition, and we decided to collect money not only for Tomáš, but also for his friends: howitzer Dan and rocket launcher Vampír. Let’s feed them,” the website reads.
To date, this crowdfunder has raised 16.7 million crowns (€680,000) from a total of 4,178 individual donations.
The chosen T-72 Avenger is a Czech-modernized version of the third-generation Soviet T-72 vehicle. It has increased parameters, comfort, and efficiency as well as increased safety for its crew against IEDs, radiation, and chemical substances.
It can also prepare itself for amphibious usage to overcome water obstacles, and is equipped with a 123 mm cannon that can penetrate 50 centimeters of armor at a distance exceeding 2 kilometers.