Text 565 to Donate to the Ukrainian Military
With a single call, you can help stop a possible Russian invasion
Ukraine’s military needs help. Outgunned by Russian troops massing on its borders, the Eastern European country is asking for cash donations.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense announced Saturday its citizens can give to the armed forces using their cell phones. A call to the number 565 will automatically donate 5 hryvnia—$.51 American dollars—to Ukrainian national defense.
We’re not sure whether the number works for international calls from outside Ukraine.
The process, known as mobile giving, has been used in the past in response to natural disasters, particularly the 2010 Haitian earthquake.
This could be the first time that a national army—perhaps facing imminent war—has solicited donations via cell phone.
For Ukrainians who want to donate more but don’t have the patience to make hundreds of phone calls, bank accounts with the State Treasury Service of Ukraine in Kiev are taking walk-up donations.
Collecting donations for war is not new. The Syrian Support Group, a Washington, D.C.-based organization licensed by the U.S. State Department, collects donations online for the rebel Free Syrian Army. The group claims to have delivered $15 million in non-lethal aid to the Free Syrian Army, but Washington has prohibited the organization from using donations to purchase weapons.
According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, donations will fund things such as fuel, food, medical supplies and other readily-available items. Tanks and fighter planes take years to procure.
It’s also likely that the Ukrainian government is limiting funds to nonlethal aid in order to encourage overseas donations, especially from Ukrainian expatriates. Many governments prohibit their citizens from directly funding arms purchases abroad.