Bayraktar Drone Gifted to Ukraine

Bayraktar Drone

After Turkey said it would give Lithuania a Bayraktar TB2 drone for free – to be handed over to Ukraine – the money raised for the purpose may be used for military aid to the eastern Luhansk region, according to the author of the Lithuanian fundraising campaign Andrius Tapinas.

Tapinas, a journalist, online influencer and founder of the media channel Laisvės TV, confirmed that the fundraiser collected around 5.9 million euros in under four days.

Launched last week, the campaign sought to raise money for a Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 combat drone to be handed over to Ukraine. The country’s military owns several of them and has used it successfully against Russian targets.

Tapinas announced on June 2 that Turkey had decided to give the drone for free and 1.5 million euros of the collected funds will be used to equip the drone. According to Tapinas, Turkey suggested that the remaining sum, around 4.45 million euros, be spent on humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

Andrius Tapinas, Defence Minister Arvydas Anušauskas, Deputy Defence Minister Vilius Semeška /LRT

He also noted that the fundraising campaign was a great success in terms of aiding Ukraine, as well as promoting Lithuania.

“This week, Lithuania’s name was mentioned more than anytime in years. I know that the government has done a preliminary analysis […] – all the mentions we, Lithuania, have received in the world’s media, from Australian radio to Canadian evening talk shows, would be worth around 9 million euros,” he said. “I can say with confidence that the entire world admires us and the Ukrainians are thankful,” Tapinas added. He said he would organize a poll to pick a name for the Bayraktar TB2 drone shortly.

Speaking at the same media conference, Defence Minister Arvydas Anušauskas said Lithuania might buy a Bayraktar combat drone system for itself. Vilnius will send experts to Turkey in the coming months.The minister said it would take a year or two to purchase the system becau se “there was one Bayraktar on the shelves”.