UK fundraising initiative accumulates around one million euros
A wool coat, used and signed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, sold for £90,000, or around €105,000, at a fundraiser for Ukraine in London on Thursday.
“Today, the whole world is talking about a man wearing a simple woolen coat,” the Ukrainian Embassy in the UK said in a video posted to Twitter with footage of Zelensky wearing the coat. “And now the iconic article, personally signed by President Zelensky, is here.”
The purpose of the event was to “tell the stories of bravery [ucraniana] that became iconic during the war, as well as raising funds to support that bravery,” according to a tweet from the embassy.
After months of military advances, Russia launched an attack on Ukraine in late February, sparking geopolitical turmoil and a refugee crisis. More than three civilians were killed in the conflict, according to the latest estimate by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The “Brave Ukraine” fundraiser, which included toys donated by Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska and photographs by the late photographer Max Levine, as well as Zelensky’s coat, was organized by the Embassy of Ukraine in London at the art gallery. Tate Modern. The event raised over a million dollars (over 950,000 euros) for “With Ukraine”, the embassy’s fundraising initiative. Most of the funds will go towards the re-equipment of the Specialized Children’s Medical Center of Western Ukraine, the embassy said.
In a speech at the fundraiser, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised Zelensky’s leadership after the Ukrainian president addressed attendees via video call.
“It is an honor to speak afterwards to my friend Volodymyr Zelenskyy, one of the most incredible leaders of modern times,” he said, according to a British government transcript. Johnson also called for “much higher bids”, in the initial bid of 50,000 pounds, or nearly 60,000 euros, for Zelensky’s husband.
Boris Johnson criticized Russia for “destroying cities in Ukraine” and praised the bravery of the Ukrainian people. “That’s why I’m more certain than ever that Ukraine will win,” he added. “Ukraine will be free and a sovereign Ukraine will rise again.”