Gift for Putin collects for rocket launcher – and holds Ukraine concert

Přemysl - rocket launcher

Gift for Putin has been one of the most active Czech civic groups providing direct support to Ukraine. Its best-known project has been a collection for a tank named Tomáš, which won international headlines. Now – as well as organising a concert in Prague on Saturday – it has begun a collection for Přemysl, a rocket launcher. Gift for Putin’s Jan Polák told me all about it.

“It’s an RM-70 rocket launcher.

“It’s able to cover 30,000 square metres by one volley.

“It has 40 rockets in one load, and by one volley it can cover three hectares.”

Previously you sent Tomáš the Tank to Ukraine. How useful is the multiple rocket launcher to Ukraine, in comparison with a tank?

“Well, the main idea is to attract attention to this kind of weapon.

“All heavy weapons and the ammunition for them are very needed in Ukraine.

“I think with the tank Tomáš the biggest success of it was that somebody in the US and in the Netherlands noticed it – and they ordered another 100 tanks from the same company where Tomáš the tank was rebuilt.

“So we will see what the rocket launcher will do.

“But right now we can see that the Russians are using this brutal of sending human waves against fire power, and this could really help Ukrainians: heavy artillery that is able to cover a large area.

“It could be really helpful against this brutal Russian tactic that they are using.”

You collected millions of crowns for Přemysl within a few hours of starting this collection. Have you seen much fluctuation in donations to Gift for Putin as the war has gone on longer and longer? Are people still donating as they did in the past?

“I have to say that it’s a nice surprise that people in the Czech Republic – or all the people that are supporting our projects – are still eager to help.

“Of course there is fluctuation. Usually at the beginning of the project there is bigger interest and then it calms down a little bit with time.”

How much are you aiming to collect? How much is it going to cost?

“The target price is CZK 50 million.”

Gift for Putin is also organising an event by the Ministry of the Interior in Prague on Saturday evening. What exactly will be happening there?

“There’s a parade going from Letná past the Russian Embassy and ending in front of the Ukrainian Embassy, where a concert will take place.

“The concert should start at 6:30 and there will be a lot of people supporting the Ukrainians – there will be key players, let’s say.

“There will be some politicians, even from the highest places.”

Including president-elect Petr Pavel?

“That is correct.”

Author: Ian Willoughby
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