The Atlas Network, a traditionally libertarian international think tank, worked with partners to create the Ukraine Freedom Fund in March 2022. Since then, the fund has been used to acquire, transport, and provide all manner of goods to Ukrainian civilians who are affected by the war. The group, which consists of Atlas and partner organizations, has donated everything from body armor to hospital necessities to products designed to help with home heating this winter.
“I would emphasize lots of people were doing this through all kinds of other work that they did,” Dr. Tom Palmer, the executive vice president of the Atlas Network, told the Washington Examiner. “It is an example of civil society defending more or less liberal democracy from a tyrannical and genocidal invasion. So that’s where we are now. And right now, I’m trying to raise money” to acquire “emergency heating stations to outfit in every village a tent or some warm place.“
The latest aid targets could prove to be vital given Russia’s continued assault on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. Since October, Russian forces have launched missile barrages for short periods of time, maybe a day, and the cumulative effect has resulted in millions of civilians often facing blackouts and no heat or running water.
Warm clothing and waterproof boots are two additional targets for donations due to the “extremely cold and very wet” winter conditions already in Ukraine.
The United States will provide more than $53 million to Ukraine to support its efforts in repairing the destroyed critical infrastructure that Russia has spent weeks deliberately targeting, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last week. The Pentagon said in October that it had committed approximately 50,000 parkas, 4,700 trousers, and 39,000 fleece hats, as well as more than 23,000 boots, 18,000 gloves, and 6,000 tents, deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh said last month
“So all of this volunteer effort,” Palmer added, “It’s just astonishing.”