Patreon Removes Ukrainian Charity Raising Military Aid Citing Policy Violation

The non-profit is also raising funds in bitcoin but Patreon was the most convenient way for foreigners to donate to the fund, according to the charity's director.

AccessTimeIconFeb 25, 2022 at 4:20 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 3:47 p.m. UTC
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Patreon, a subscription platform for artists and creatives, has de-platformed a Ukrainian non-profit that is running a crowdfunding campaign to support the country's military against a Russian invasion.

  • According to a post on Patreon's website, the charity "Come Back Alive" was removed because it claimed to be using contributions to "finance and train military personnel."
  • "We don’t allow Patreon to be used for funding weapons or military activity. It is a violation of our policies, and so we have removed the page," the statement said, adding that all remaining funds in the charity's account will be refunded to contributors.
  • Come Back Alive claims to have raised around $670,000 in just one day this week, according to a Bloomberg report from Thursday.
  • Taras Chmut, director of Come Back Alive, told CNBC on Thursday that Patreon was the most convenient platform for foreigners looking to send donations.
  • The charity's website lists multiple ways to donate funds including using payment system Swift and bank accounts. So far, Patreon seems to be the only fundraising method to be disrupted.
  • The charity is also raising funds in bitcoin, and has received close to $5 million worth of bitcoin to one wallet address listed on its website, according to data from Blockchain.com. Only around $150,000 worth of bitcoin have left the wallet so far.
  • On Friday, Ukraine's official Twitter account posted a link to the Come Back Alive donation page, which includes details for its bitcoin wallet.
  • It is unclear how the funds are currently being distributed as the charity has not updated its reporting on donations since Wednesday.


UPDATE (Feb. 25 20:56 UTC): Added details about Ukraine's official Twitter account.

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Sandali Handagama

Sandali Handagama is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for policy and regulations, EMEA. She does not own any crypto.


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