Ukraine has launched an online crowdfunding campaign to buy fighter jets. Titled “Buy Me A Fighter Jet," the campaign seeks funds from the public for new fighter aircraft to repel the Russian advance.
“Please buy me a fighter jet,” is written in bold and all-caps on the campaign website. The homepage also features a video in which a Ukrainian pilot walks toward destroyed military equipment, including fighter jets, and then looks into the camera and says, "buy me a fighter jet."
“It will help me to protect my sky filled with Russian planes that bomb my land, kill my friends, and destroy our friends and everything that I have ever known,” the pilot adds.
The video also shows glimpses of devastated homes and towns.
“Every day we see atrocious war crimes - bombing and shelling of residential buildings, schools, hospitals and kindergartens,” he said.
The website also lists the types of fighter jets Ukrainian pilots need. They are Russian aircraft such as Su-22, Su-25, Su-27, Su-24 and MiG-29. It said the pilots would be able to quickly master the American-made F15, F16 and F18. The website estimated the cost of one aircraft to be around $25 million.
The Ukrainian military, earlier, said that they have been asking NATO to close the Ukrainian skies since the beginning of the invasion on February 24, or at least provide them with additional fighter jets to match the Russian air force. But the governments of the world are afraid of escalation and the conflict spreading beyond Ukraine, it added.
Initially, several European Union countries had announced that they would supply the Ukrainian military with fighter jets but that plan never fructified as the US vetoed it amidst concerns that it would escalate tensions with Russia.