Ukrainian MP launches crowdfund appeal to buy artillery to take on 'merciless' Putin

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Ukrainian MP Oleksi Goncharenko has launched a crowdfunding appeal to help fund his countries efforts in resisting Vladimir Putin’s invasion of his country. The MP, who previously has sent back footage of a captured Russian tank, launched the appeal for a self-propelled Howitzer artillery piece costing around £235,000.

The revelation came as Foreign Secretary James Cleverly told MPs in a statement to the House of Commons today that the UK’s new government will continue to provide weapons and full diplomatic support for Ukraine as was guaranteed under Boris Johnson and Liz Truss’s governments.

But other countries have sparked fury in Ukraine for failing to provide weapons promised for the conflict including Germany whaich had changed its laws to send tanks but has failed to send any.

Mr Goncharenko, who has praised the UK for its “outstanding support” has branded Putin “merciless” and a “war criminal.”

But he has started what is believed to be the first crowdfunder for weapons for a war in a bid to help his country through the winter of conflict.

The Howitzer he is seeking to buy will be a refurbished Soviet 2S1 Gvozdika.

It became as ubiquitous around the world as the T-54/55, but it was not a battle tank, although the public at large sees the same: Tracks, a turret and a big gun.

Instead, this was the most produced self-propelled gun of the cold war, eclipsing all others, including NATO. It saw plenty of action to its widespread use by 41 countries and operators sing its introduction in the 1970s and it’s certainly not over. In Soviet nomenclature, 2S1 signified the second model S for self-propelled, its GRAU designation.

Army designation was SAU-122, and “Gvozdika” meaning “Carnation”, as more of a popular surname.

This Soviet self-propelled Howitzer had a long development history started in 1954. It entered service 15 years after, and mass-produced to became the main vehicle of the type in the Soviet Inventory and Warsaw Pact as well.

READ MORE: Russia evacuation order to Kherson betrays fear of Ukraine advance

So far, around a quarter of the funds for the weapon have been raised.

Mr Goncharenko told Express.co.uk: “It’s been so heart-warming to see so much support for Ukraine from across the world.

“We are proud to fight at the frontline to defend freedom in Europe but we just need the weapons. Every pound donated for this howitzer will help to save Ukrainian lives and to achieve victory faster from which the whole world will benefit.”

But he has supported criticism of some of the NATO allies for failing to provide weapons.

In September, foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said: “Disappointing signals from Germany while Ukraine needs Leopards and Marders now — to liberate people and save them from genocide,” Kuleba said on Twitter, adding that there was “not a single rational argument on why these weapons can not be supplied, only abstract fears and excuses.” 

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