The Lithuanian media channel Laisves TV started a fundraiser to buy a Bayraktar TB2 armed drone for the Ukrainian armed forces.
On May 25, 2022, Laisves TV founder Andrius Tapinas published an appeal on his personal Facebook page.
The channel hopes to raise €5 million in three weeks to acquire the drone. The crowdfunding effort was approved by the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense, its Turkish counterpart, and the drone maker Baykar Technologies.
“Now – probably for the first time in history – citizens of one state can buy and donate such heavy weapons to another state,” Tapinas said. “Let our Bayraktar rise above undefeated Ukraine. Let this be the hour when Lithuania and Ukraine unsheathe their swords together.”
The Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drone illustrated itself during Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, proving itself as an attritable solution to destroy more critical assets, such as armored vehicles, anti-aircraft systems, or even tanks. The drone was credited for helping to sink the Russian missile cruiser Moskva and bombing Russian anti-air defense systems on Snake Island.
Following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Lithuanian defense minister Arvydas Anusauskas announced plans to bolster the country’s capabilities with a 1 billion euros ($1.09 billion) investment to acquire several new platforms for the Lithuanian military, including Switchblade loitering munitions colloquially known as “kamikaze drones”.