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99-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor Backs Slovak Ammunition Drive for Ukraine, Raising Over €3.5 Million

Slovak citizens have organized an initiative called “Ammunition for Ukraine: If The Government Won’t — We Will,” which aims to raise money to buy ammunition for the Ukrainian military. The leader of this project is the civic initiative “Mier Ukrajine” (Peace for Ukraine), which has been helping Ukraine in various ways since the beginning of the full-scale invasion.

The first campaign’s milestone, after launching on April 16, was to raise €250,000, however, by Wednesday, April 24, the crowdfunding had already raised more than €3.5 million. More than 57,000 people have made their contributions.

One of the initiative’s supporters is Otto Šimko, a 99-year-old Holocaust survivor and journalist.

“When I heard about the Czech government’s initiative, I was very pleased to hear that all ways are being sought to help Ukraine defend itself against the (Russian) aggressor, because there is no other way,” said Šimko.

“Many people in Slovakia are ashamed of the government’s orientation to Russia. This is the reason people are contributing,” said Zuzana Izsakova from the “Mier Ukrajine” civil group, one of the initiative’s organizers.

The campaign was initiated after the Slovak government and Prime Minister Robert Fico refused to support the Czech government’s global initiative to purchase the necessary ammunition for Ukraine. More than twenty countries have already joined the Czech initiative.

“Ammunition for Ukraine” stated their disagreement with the Slovak government’s position, writing on their website: “We refuse to put up with the denial of aid to a war-torn neighbor. Let us show that they are not the only ones deciding this. We are convinced that the government’s attitude does not represent the majority of citizens. We are sure that we, the people of Slovakia, want to help and can help.”

The fundraising is open-ended, with proceeds going to the Czech ammunition initiative, with the first deliveries to Ukraine being expected in June.

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