22:29 GMT +307 December 2019
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    Two members of the German Parliament raised almost 200,000 euros ($217,000) for the children of Donbass, suffering from an economic blockade imposed by Kiev in November 2014.

    Heart of Gold: Two German MPs Raise 200,000 Euros to Help Donbass Children

    © REUTERS / Gleb Garanich
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    Two members of the German Parliament raised almost 200,000 euros ($217,000) for the children of Donbass, suffering from an economic blockade imposed by Kiev in November 2014.

    Throughout 2015, Wolfgang Gerke and Andrej Hunko, the two members of the German Bundestag, raised money for the children of Donbass and then sent the funds to medical institutions in Gorlovka, Lugansk and Donetsk, Hunko told RIA Novosti in an interview.

    "Just before last Christmas, Wolfgang Gerke and I started a small charity event for a children's hospital in Gorlovka… We were amazed by the resonance of our fundraising campaign," Hunko said, adding that already by February 2015 the two German MPs managed to raise over 30,000 euros ($32,500), which they immediately sent to Donbass.

    Hunko said that all the funds raised were used to buy medicine and medical equipment for children's hospitals in Donbass.

    In November, the German MPs met with the administration of hospitals to which they send the money.

    Doctors from Donbass hospitals thanked their saviors, saying that the Ukrainian government in Kiev had long forgotten about them.

    "They [doctors and hospital administration] said with our support, they were able to fully provide hospitals with medicine over the next three months," Hunko said.

    When parts of the funds were sent to Donbass in November, the German legislators came under fire from the Ukrainian government, which was furious that the money was sent to children's hospitals in Eastern Ukraine.

    Initially, Gerke and Hunko tried to send their humanitarian aid through Kiev, but then were forced to change their route and enter Donbass from Russia after the Ukrainian government refused to cooperate.

    Ukraine's southeast has been severely affected by Kiev's special military operation, launched in Donetsk and Lugansk regions in April 2014. The operation was a response to local residents' refusal to recognize the new coup-installed government in the country.    

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    Tags:
    medicine, fundraising, hospital, children, Ukrainian crisis, Andrej Hunko, Wolfgang Gerke, Donbass, Ukraine
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