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Help me protect life in Ukraine
Throughout this war, Russia has targeted Ukrainian civilians and Ukrainian civilian infrastructure. This means the water supplies and energy supplies that people need to stay alive, especially in cold weather. Last winter Russia tried to freeze out the Ukrainians, especially in the capital city Kyiv.
Some of you helped. Last year, many of you joined me in a United24 project to fund the development and the early implementation of an anti-drone system to protect Ukrainian civilians. As you might have noticed, the Ukrainian armed forces did indeed become very good at detecting and destroying Russian drones, especially the Iranian-made Shahed kamikaze systems.
Kyiv is still attacked, if more rarely. Russia has taken to attacking other cities and provincial towns throughout Ukraine, in the hope of intimidating the population and, once again, with the desire not just to kill some but to deprive all of water, power, and heat. Russia also sends its drones and cruise missiles to destroy Ukrainian ports and Ukrainian grain storage facilities. This is meant to weaken the Ukrainian economy. Since Ukraine supplies much of Asia and Africa with food, this brings starvation and conflict around the world.
I can give you some minor first-hand examples. When I was last in Ukraine, in September, every locality I visited had been targeted, in one way or another. When I visited Odesa, landmarks I knew from previous visits had been destroyed. One night in Odesa I slept through the air-raid alert. It turned out that the cruise missile was headed not for the city but for the port of Izmail, to hit Ukrainian grain shipments.
Such attacks have to be stopped and they can be. The detection system the Ukrainians have developed locates the Shahed drones and the cruise missiles. When I was visiting Ukraine I toured a Safe Skies facility. I have met some of the people involved and have had the science and the engineering explained to me. The basis of the whole system is detection, which is done in an extremely clever way
The goal of the Safe Skies fundraiser is to spread the drone-detection system throughout the entire country. I have taken responsibility for raising $950,000, which will cover 2500 detection outposts, enough to protect a fifth of the territory of Ukraine -- an area about the size of Pennsylvania or Ohio, or Bulgaria or Greece. Millions of people would be shielded. Thousands of lives can be saved.
I want to emphasize the moral simplicity of this. Russia has attacked Ukraine and commits war crime after war crime. The system we are funding, which I have seen myself, is one of passive detection. It locates drones and cruise missiles while they are in the air over Ukraine, thereby giving the Ukrainians a chance to halt the instruments of Russian murder and terror -- and to preserve life.
I very much hope you will join me in this fundraiser. It begins right now. There are many horrors throughout the world. This is one you can help stop with a few clicks and a bit of generosity. Please donate if you can. And please share this widely.
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