Updated Feb. 25 — Patreon suspended Come Back Alive’s crowdfunding campaign, citing its rules that “do not allow any campaigns involved in violence or purchasing of military equipment, regardless of their cause.”
As Russia is exerting alarming political and military pressure on Ukraine, a variety of initiatives have emerged from the Ukrainian tech community to support the country’s defence effort.
As reported by AIN.UA, a large amount of donations is going to Come Back Alive. This non-profit was founded in 2014, as the conflict with Russia began, by Vitaliy Deynega, an IT specialist from Kyiv. Since then, Come Back Alive has become one of the largest NPOs supporting Ukrainian soldiers. It “specializes in technical support — especially in thermographic cameras and night vision devices — and implements training, medical, psychological and other projects,” according to Wikipedia.
Last week DOU, an online community of programmers, published a post calling IT professionals to make donations to Come Back Alive. Prominent startup entrepreneur Max Ischenko — who founded DOU and Djinni — offered 5 million hryvnias (about $170,000 at the current exchange rate) to the foundation. Ukrainian-founded startup Awesomic followed, contributing 1 million hryvnias ($35,000) while the employees of Intellias, a major Ukrainian IT service provider, donated some 600,000 hryvnias ($20,400).
“We are patriots of Ukraine, and as a responsible business, we help our state. Intellias cooperates with various volunteer organizations and regularly supports the Ukrainian army. We have already conducted an online training on home protection. And we are currently finalizing the Military Leave package, which will provide financial and other support to Intellias employees who plan to mobilize,” said Intellias CEO and co-founder Vitaly Sedler.
Genesis, a major Ukrainian venture firm, offered Come Back Alive another five million hryvnias, its CEO Vladimir Mnogoletniy announced on Facebook. Genesis and all its portfolio companies will stay in Ukraine to the bitter end, he pledged.
With more than 9,100 patrons and over $330,000 in monthly donations, Come Back Alive has become the most successful fundraising campaign on Patreon, according to AIN.UA.
In total, on February 22 alone, Come Back Alive received 20 million hryvnias in donations slightly more than during the entire year 2021, the foundation told the online publication.
Among other NPOs involved in the national effort is Army SOS, which aims to “coordinate people’s efforts to help soldiers of Ukraine.” The organization “manages purchases of necessary ammunition, shields, intercommunication and reconnaissance facilities, uniforms and food supply.” Goods are delivered directly to military units on the field.