Patreon took down an account run by one of Ukraine's biggest charitable foundations because the organization uses donations to supply equipment for the country's military
Patreonhas taken down an account run by a major Ukrainecharitable foundation, Come Back Alive.
- The foundation's page, savelife.in.ua, said funds raised would go to its "media and veterans divisions."
The membership platform said Thursday that it removed the account savelife.in.ua.
Before its suspension, the Patreon page said funds raised through its account will "fund the operations of our media and veteran divisions, visible to 2,500,000 of our Facebook followers."
"The posts and videos created with the help of your donations will show the rehabilitation of Ukrainian veterans and their return to a peaceful life," it said.
Patreon, however, says it took down the account because the non-governmental organization that runs it, called Come Back Alive, uses contributions to "finance and train military personnel."
"We don't allow Patreon to be used for funding weapons or military activity," Patreon said in a blog post. "It is a violation of our policies, and so we have removed the page."
Ukraine's official website says Come Back Alive is the country's "main charity fund," and Come Back Alive says that a payment made to it is a "charitable donation to Ukrainian military."
The foundation has said it used funds for military vehicles, mobile surveillance systems, tablets with software for artillerymen, and the training of hundreds of snipers and thousands of gunners, according to Patreon. CNBC reports that the NGO uses donations to distribute military equipment like helmets, body armor, and medical kits to Ukrainian soldiers.
The director of Come Back Alive, Taras Chmut, told CNBC that the Patreon page received small donations in recent months, but more than $300,000 poured in after the
Patreon says funds remaining in the account will be refunded. The company suggested other organizations for people to donate to instead, including the Ukrainian Red Cross Society, Voices of Children, and Revived Soldiers Ukraine.
"We are shocked and heartbroken at the invasion of Ukraine," Patreon said in its blog post. "Like so many around the world, we are watching this tragedy closely and wishing for the safety of the Ukrainian people in harm's way."
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