Fundraising platform United24, initiated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, launched the project "Azovstal. A Symbol of Perseverance" to raise funds to support Ukraine during the war. The first part of the initiative is the charitable release of bracelets made from the last pre-war batch of metal from the Azovstal plant.
Each bracelet is made of 5 grams of steel produced on the rolling mill 3600 at the Azovstal plant. In 1981, a spaceship launch shaft was made out of such steel, and in 2012, a new sarcophagus at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant. In 2022, the sheet-rolling shop, where mill 3600 worked for many years, became one of the places where the protectors of Mariupol heroically defended their steel fortress.
All proceeds from the sale of the bracelets will go to the purchase of drones to strengthen Ukrainian defenders at the front.
The project presentation took place in Kyiv, at the Memorial complex "National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War" next to the largest flag of Ukraine, and the 17-meter inscription "I believe in the Armed Forces of Ukraine." The letters, also made from Azovstal, will be there from October 6 until November 1.
"The word "Azovstal" changed from the plant's name into a common one, becoming the symbol of courage and spirit of the entire people. We dedicate this project to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the world’s most indomitable people, as well as to every Ukrainian, defending his land,” Mykhailo Fedorov, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine said.
“Thanks to your donations via UNITED24, the Army of Drones has already purchased almost a thousand UAVs for the front. The ‘Symbol of Perseverance’ will help strengthen our defenders with new crucial drones,” he added.
Yuriy Ryzhenkov, General Director of Metinvest Group, noted that Azovstal has become a symbol of Ukrainian perseverance, and his company has been supporting the Armed Forces of Ukraine since the first days of the war.
“The last pre-war batch of Azovstal steel will help the defenders of Ukraine. I believe that one day we will return to Mariupol and rebuild the legendary plant,” he said.
The design of the bracelets – paracord with an engraved coat of arms of Ukraine – was developed by the SOVA jewelry house.
“We had a limited amount of materials and tried to use every gram of steel as rationally as possible. Also, paracord wasn't chosen for no reason; this is the kind of cord used by our military. It can withstand up to 250 kilograms and further emphasizes the idea of strength in the bracelet,” Liudmyla Sova, General director of the SOVA jewelry house noted.
The first batch of bracelets consists of 10,000 items, worth 1,500 UAH each. One can purchase a bracelet on United24 website, in the network of branded jewelry stores or on azovstal.u24.gov.ua.
The project partner, Nova Poshta, will deliver the bracelets throughout Ukraine at their own expense.
"Azovstal. A symbol of Perseverance”... the Russians have ruined, but couldn’t destroy the legendary plant. The last batch of its metal will continue to fight back the enemy, turning into UAVs of the Army of Drones,” Vyacheslav Klymov, Co-founder of Nova Poshta said.
UNITED24 is a fundraising platform, initiated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy. It is the central venue for charitable donations in support of Ukraine. During the first five months of operation, UNITED24 collected more than 190 million dollars from citizens of 110 countries worldwide. Among UNITED24 ambassadors are famous athletes – Andriy Shevchenko and Elina Svitolina, the creative director of Balenciaga – Demna, American actors – Liev Schreiber and Mark Hamill, the band Imagine Dragons, the singer and actress Barbra Streisand.
Army of Drones is a complex program of the fundraising platform, UNITED24, together with the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Ministry of Digital Transformation and the State Special Communications Service. The program includes systematic procurement of drones, their repair and replacement, as well as pilot training courses.
"Azovstal" is a metallurgical plant in Mariupol, Ukraine. Its history is almost 90 years old. In the spring of 2022, the plant became the last fortress of Mariupol.