VILNIUS – Some 50.3 percent of Lithuanians have donated money or otherwise contributed to efforts to help Ukraine since Russia invaded its neighbor in late February, an opinion poll carried out by Vilmorus for BNS has found.
Of these, 29 percent have donated money through non-governmental organizations, 15.7 percent have donated items, offered accommodation to refugees and contributed in other ways, and 5.6 percent have given both financial and other support.
Another 49.4 percent of respondents said they had provided no aid to Ukraine.
People of all social backgrounds, regardless of their place of residence, gender or age, have donated both money and other items to war-torn Ukraine.
People with higher incomes stand out statistically among those who have given various types of support.
ATTITUDE TOWARD RUSSIA
Jonas Ohman, the head of Blue/Yellow, an organization that collects donations for Ukrainian troops, believes that whether or not a person provides aid to Ukraine depends, among other factors, on their attitude toward Russia.
"It's very clear: half of people care and the other half don't," Ohman told BNS. "My opinion is that half of people in Lithuania, for reasons I don't understand, don't see Russia as a threat."
"Do Russia's [multiple rocket launchers] Grads have to fire to make them understand?" he added. "I sometimes look at these people and I don't understand them."
"Looking objectively, Russia is a threat to us," he said, adding that the war in Ukraine should have dispelled any doubts about that.
Ohman said his organization has raised around 19 million euros in donations so far.
"This isn't enough, because this is a serious war," he said. "Requests keep coming to us now. We're doing some very serious things now. We're supplying troops with very serious things."
Some 90 percent of donations come from Lithuania, according to Ohman.
The money is used to buy medical supplies, armored vests, all-terrain vehicles and other items for Ukrainian troops, but "if things get really bad", they may ask to purchase missiles, too, he said.
DONATIONS FOR UKRAINIAN ANIMALS
People are also donating to animals in Ukraine. Tusti Narvai (Empty Cages), an animal protection NGO, says it has raised over 25,000 euros so far.
"We need much more help for Ukraine, but on the other hand, this is a very large amount of money raised in a very short time," Gabriele Vaitkeviciute, the head of the organization, told BNS.
"Other organizations in Lithuania are also collecting, so that makes around 130,000 euros in total," she added. "
Around 900 people have donated to the organization, which saw huge interest on the first day of its fundraising campaign.
"People donated over 6,000 euros when we launched the campaign," Vaitkeviciute said.
"The average donation, I counted one day, was around 30 euros. But someone transfers 50 or 500 [euros] every now and then," she said.
The funds are transferred to an animal welfare organization in Ukraine that cooperates with other organizations, and are used to buy food for animals and to transport them, sometimes to other countries.
Other NGOs in Lithuania collect donations for Ukraine as well.
The exact results of the poll are as follows:
Respondents were asked whether they had provided aid to Ukraine since the Russian invasion.
Twenty-nine percent responded, "'Yes, I have provided financial support through NGOs", and 15.7 percent said, "Yes, I have donated items, offered accommodation to refugees, contributed in other ways".
Another 5.6 percent said, "Yes, I have both provided financial support and contributed in other ways", and 49.4 percent answered "No". The remaining 0.4 percent gave no answer.
Vilmorus polled 1,005 adult people in 25 cities and towns and 40 villages through in-person and phone interviews between March 10 and 19. The results of the poll have an error margin of up to 3.1 percent.