On November 16, Spirit of America CEO Jim Hake spoke with Europe Regional Director Colleen Denny and Europe Regional Program Manager Matt Dimmick about what Spirit of America is doing to save lives and help Ukraine win.
Russia’s war on Ukraine is the greatest threat to freedom and democracy since WWII. In fact, just about every threat to peace, freedom, and democracy in the world today can be linked to Russia: Iran destabilizing the Middle East, disinformation that undermines democracies in Europe and the US, coups in Africa, support for Hamas.
That’s why helping Ukraine win is important. And after our team’s latest trip to Eastern Europe, we’re even more convinced that private assistance – support from citizens like you – can be the difference that makes a difference in the outcome of this war.
Here are the latest updates from Ukraine:
Spirit of America’s investment in a tactical communications network has saved countless lives and eliminated billions in deadly Russian weapons systems
A new tactical network that enables instantaneous sharing of sensitive communications and information between the US and Ukraine continues to have high-payoff results on the battlefield.
A couple months ago we learned that Spirit of America’s investment — $614,000 worth of equipment to get this network up and running — had enabled Ukrainians to eliminate Russian weapon systems worth $1.9 billion. Last week, we learned that the network has now eliminated $3.1 billion worth of Russian systems. That’s an almost unimaginable 5,000x ROI and doesn’t include what you can’t put a price on — the number of innocent lives saved.
One US military official told us, “I can’t even put an estimate on how much the Ukraine Tactical Network has improved communications. These systems have saved an untold number of lives.”
Due to the overwhelming success, our partners want to expand the network to an additional 81 Ukrainian Armed Forces brigades.
Drones are critical to success and saving lives on the front lines
Drones have redefined modern warfare. Since the start of the war, the Russians have greatly increased the number of drones they use on the battlefield. As a result of their intense experiences in drone fighting, the Ukrainians are emerging as leaders in drone innovation, constantly updating their hardware and tactics to account for evolving tactics. Ukraine has talked about its “Army of Drones,” and the Territorial Defense Forces was recently tasked with recruiting and training 10,000 new drone pilots.
Drones are used to identify Russian threats to provide protection to the Ukrainian front lines. Spirit of America has delivered over 200 drones to elite Ukrainian units with highly skilled drone pilots.
Beyond surveillance drones, we’ve learned from our US partners that Ukraine has a need for counter drone technology — a new life saving technology that jams Russian drone signals, making Russian drones inoperable and fall from the sky — and specific drone parts that can quickly fix broken drones already in Ukrainian hands.
Spirit of America’s UActive program, empowering students to rebuild their communities, expands south to Mykolaiv
In addition to our frontline assistance efforts, Spirit of America is addressing the devastating impact of Russia’s war on Ukrainian students through a new program, called UActive, in partnership with the Ukrainian nonprofit savED. Through UActive, students develop projects to rebuild and improve their schools and neighborhoods, and their ideas are awarded micro-grants that fund the projects they come up with. As a result, important community spaces are being restored while teaching Ukrainian youth entrepreneurial and leadership skills.
Matt visited three rural schools in the war-affected regions of Mykolaiv that suffered Russian occupation for nine months. In these villages, children and young adults remain isolated due to years of online-only school and wartime hardships. Through UActive, they are working together to rebuild not only community spaces but also their own sense of community.
One school director told us: “The UActive project supports us all and gives hope. Despite the continuation of the war, we understand that we must live, and fight on.”
Thank you for your continued support. Together we can be the difference that makes a difference in stopping the suffering in Ukraine, and ensures peace, freedom, and democracy.