Today, the Come Back Alive Foundation is one of the largest, most prominent groups helping Ukrainian forces. It was founded in 2014 by Vitaliy Deynega, a Kiev-based volunteer who began raising money and supplying armor to soldiers fighting in Ukraine’s Donbas region shortly after Russia annexed Crimea. Deynega wrote “Come Back Alive” on each vest, inspiring the name of his group. His efforts were promoted by the Ukrainian government, which called “Come Back Alive.”The main Ukrainian charitable fund. ” Potential donors were also referred to the “special account” of the National Bank of Ukraine through the accounts of the American and British Chase Bank.
But on Thursday, the foundation encountered a major setback: it launched one of its primary sources of international funding, the crowdfunding platform Patreon. He remained offline from 13:00 Eastern Time on Friday, February 25.
A Patreon spokesman cited the company’s policy of “harmful and illegal activities” to justify the move, saying: “Patreon does not allow any campaigns related to violence or the purchase of military equipment, regardless of their cause. We have suspended the campaign in question while we investigate. “
The reaction of the Ukrainians was quick. Critics have accused the platform of cutting off a key lifeline for self-defense from Russia and questioned why it made the decision now that the site has been online for years.
Patreon became the main source for crowdfunding in this conflict; other established Ukrainian organizations such as the English-language media Kyiv Independent is also raising funds on the platform. So far, GoFundMe has not published any statements about Ukrainian crowdfunding taking place on its platform.
Such platforms have enormous power because of their ability to help people collect and transfer huge sums of money. But one problem they face is that, especially in the fog of war, it is not always clear who gives and receives money. Countless scams related to Ukraine are already floating on the Internet. As an example, one Twitter account was previously used for gambling. He now shares Bitcoin links and claims to be raising money to finance the fight against Russia.