Today, the Come Back Alive Foundation is one of the largest, most prominent groups supporting Ukrainian forces. It was founded in 2014 by Kiev-based volunteer Vitaly Denega, who began raising money and supplying bulletproof vests to soldiers fighting in the Donbass region of Ukraine immediately after Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Denega wrote “Come Back Alive” on each vest, inspiring the name of his group. His efforts have been encouraged by the Ukrainian government, which has identified Come Back Alive as “Ukraine’s main charity fund”. Potential donors have also been directed to “special accounts” of the National Bank of Ukraine by American and British chase bank accounts.
But on Thursday, the foundation suffered a major setback: one of its primary sources of international funding, crowdfunding platform Patrion, pulled out. It will be offline on Friday, February 25, at 1:00 PM Eastern Time.
A spokesman for Patrion cited the company’s policy on “harmful and illegal activities” to justify the move: “Patrion does not allow any campaign involving violence or the purchase of military equipment regardless of their cause. We suspended the campaign in question while we were investigating. Has given. ”
The reaction from the Ukrainians was quick. Critics on the platform accused Russia of cutting off a crucial lifeline for self-defense and questioned why it had made the decision now that Page had been online for years.
Patrion has become a source of going for crowdfunding in this conflict; Other established Ukrainian institutions such as English-language media outlets Kyiv Independent also raises funds on the platformSo far, GoFundMe has not released a statement on the ongoing Ukrainian crowdfunding on its platform.
Such platforms have tremendous power for their ability to help people collect and move large sums of money. But they face a problem that, especially in the fog of war, it is not always clear who is giving and receiving money. Numerous Ukraine-related scams are already floating around the Internet. To give an example, a Twitter account was previously used for gambling. Now it is sharing bitcoin links and claiming to raise money to fund the fight against Russia.