Hundreds of Lithuanians have contributed to buying an advanced military drone for Ukraine in its war against Russia in solidarity with a fellow country from the former Soviet Union.
The campaign was initiated by Laisves TV, the Lithuanian internet broadcaster. €5 million was collected in just three and a half days - mostly in small amounts between €5 and €100 - for the purchase of a Byraktar TB2 military drone.
As a result, Lithuania plans to buy the craft from Turkey after signing a letter of intent to buy the craft from Turkey last week. In recent years, the drone has proved effective in fighting Russian and allied forces in Syria and Libya.
Baykar, the Turkish drone manufacturer, has sold Ukraine more than 20 Bayraktar TB2 armed drones in recent years. Ukraine ordered sixteen more drones on 27 January. That batch was delivered in early March.
Laisves TV quoted the Ukrainian ambassador to Lithuania, Beshta Petro, as saying, "This is the first time someone raised money for something like a Bayraktar. It is unprecedented, it is unbelievable."
Lithuania's 2020 population is estimated at 2,722,289 people at mid-year, according to UN data.