Slovaks buck government, reach into own pockets to donate $3 million to Ukraine

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico
Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico

Slovak citizens have shown their disagreement with Prime Minister Robert Fico's policies by raising over €3 million ($3.2 million) for ammunition for the Ukrainian army, the BBC reported on April 22.

Over 47,000 Slovaks contributed to the charity drive.

The amount and number of donations exceeded expectations, with Slovaks raising over a million euros ($1.07 million) within the first two days.

The total reached €2.95 million ($3.15 million) on the morning of April 22.

Otto Shymko, a 99-year-old Holocaust survivor who participated in the Slovak uprising against the Nazis in 1994, helped to initiate the campaign.

"We have to drive Putin out of Ukraine," he said.

"We have to defeat him."

Read also: Thousands of people come to streets in support of Ukraine and against the government in Slovakia

The funds will purchase ammunition for Ukraine as part of a Czech initiative involving around 20 countries. Citizens transfer the money directly to the Czech government.

Slovakia is a democratic country and citizens have every right to take such actions, Slovakia's Defense Minister Robert Kaliňák said about the fundraising effort.

The Foreign Ministries of Slovakia and Hungary announced on March 21, that they would not participate in the Czech initiative to purchase 800,000 artillery shells for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Slovakia's pro-Russian government of Robert Fico

Russia's war against Ukraine began in 2014 with the "rampage of Ukrainian neo-Nazis," Prime Minister Robert Fico stated falsely on Feb. 24, on the second anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Slovakia will cease military aid to Ukraine and focus solely on humanitarian support, Fico has repeatedly stated, adding that "Ukraine and Russia should negotiate over the next ten years rather than kill each other."

Ukraine "should give back" part of its territory to Russia to end the war, the Slovak Prime Minister has also claimed.

Russian occupying forces would "never give back" Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk oblasts to Ukraine, Fico stated on April 17.

Read also: Slovakia fully supports Ukraine’s EU membership — PM Fico

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine