I had expected around 40 people at my Donbass event in London, to raise around £1000. In the event, at the event – despite the original venue cancelling on the day after yet another pro-Ukraine campaign, there were well over 100, and the money raised for Donbass was….
That in a minute, first, thank you to Geovien So for the amazing photos!
One from Philipp Bobrov – proud winner of the Novorossiya jacket I wore into Debaltsevo –
And thank you to Igor Proskurov for the wonderful videos –
Our wonderful entertainers –
The auction –
A couple of points of business before we get to the amount raised. Our pro-Ukraine ‘provocateur’ was one known to some of my Facebook friends, William Joyce. He arrived at the event, consumed the alcohol and food provided, pretended to be my best friend, asked for a selfie, then as soon as proceedings started, he started acting aggressively, shouting.
I let him have his say, then ejected him as all he wanted to do was cause trouble, upset people, ruin the event. He stayed around, outside, mostly chatting to police officers, then came back into the event later, bought a photo (to attempt to frame me for something or other). He then returned home, and as per his Facebook, reported online that I assaulted him.
The pro-Ukrainians tried to destroy the Donbass event before the event, during, then after its success they mounted a completely misguided, but nonetheless venomous, attack on the venue which hosted our event. If you support freedom of speech, the right to host a charity event – then please leave them a positive review here.
That the event was such a success was due to a huge team effort – Oleg, our wonderful MC, Ira, who helped me organise, Oksana who arranged entertainment, sung herself, Isacco, along with his wife Kseniya (above), who prepared, and donated truly delicious food (right), and wine. Yulia who helped out, Ira also, Marina, Laura, Patrick my special mystery guest and source of huge support in finding, setting up the venue, Kristina who made these terrific t-shirts –
Thanks to many more who helped, and everyone who came. Came because they wanted to support Donbass. It was a victory for Donbass. It was also a victory for standing up for freedom of speech in London, not giving in, in the face of what can only be described as ‘terrorist’ tactics by the pro-Ukraine side, repeatedly calling, threatening venues, bombarding online.
Those tactics didn’t win. What was was good will, the real desire to help those in Donbass who desperately need it. To that end, exceeding all my expectations, the final sum raised was…..
That will be distributed –
£1200 – Humanitarian aid for crisis town of Pervomaisk
£1500 – Aid for hospitals in Donetsk
£280 – Church in Kirovsky (as requested by donor)
£445 – Humanitarian aid for Gorlovka (as requested by donors)
So, thanks again for not giving in. For showing up. The aid will make a massive difference to the people of Donbass. It was a triumph of good over bad.
And it’s just the start – watch out for online fundraising for Donbass, to allow those who couldn’t come to make their contribution!