The warlord’s now iconic outerwear fetched £90,000 at a Christie’s auction at Tate Modern attended by Boris Johnson as part of a scheme to raise up to £1million pounds for Ukraine.
Image: Ukrainian Presidency/ZUMA Press Wire Service/REX/Shutterstock)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s iconic fleece jacket sold for £90,000 at a fundraising event for the country devastated by the Russian invasion.
As Ukraine battles against the greatest military force and resources at Vladimir Putin’s disposal, auctions have been held to raise funds for their cause.
Christie’s is part of an international program to raise up to £1million.
Boris Johnson tried to encourage bidding as he auctioned off Mr Zelensky’s now famous khaki fleece at the London auction, where the starting price was set at £50,000.
The Prime Minister called it a ‘thumbs up’ as he got people excited at the Christie’s auction held at the Tate Modern.
Mr Zelensky was seen regularly giving updates in video calls from Kyiv wearing his military uniform and resisting the threat of Russian forces.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
He also addressed the House of Commons from Kyiv asking for UK support as he described it as Ukraine’s hour of need and compared it to the Battle of Britain and the Blitz during World War II.
Mr Zelensky spoke via video link before the start of bidding at the Brave Ukraine fundraiser and he spoke of the “brave Boris” who had come to see him in Kyiv.
There were other auction items in the lot, including a rooster jug which had been given to Mr Johnson during his visit to the Ukrainian capital.
There was also a guided tour of Kyiv by mayor and former heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko.
Zuma Press/PA Pictures)
Mr Johnson said: ‘Whether you’re bidding on Volodymyr’s fleece – a shot at £50,000, I want much higher bids than that, or whether you’re bidding on a tour of Kyiv with Mayor Klitschko, I have took a tour of Kyiv with Mayor Klitschko, it’s a beautiful city. Well worth it, dig deep.
“Support Ukraine tonight, my friends, so that the great old European capital Kyiv can never again be threatened and Ukraine can be whole and free again.”
It comes as US President Joe Biden signed a $150 million arms package for Ukraine on Friday, providing additional artillery munitions, radar and other equipment in the latest in a series of transfers to help kyiv repel the Russian invasion.
Biden and other Western leaders plan to hold a video call with Zelenskiy on Sunday, the White House said, in a show of unity.
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The UN Security Council – including Russia – has expressed “deep concern” over the situation in Ukraine, its first statement since the February 24 invasion.
The toughest sanctions ever imposed on a major power have led to the biggest contraction of Russia’s economy by $1.8 trillion since the years following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The European Union has proposed more measures.
But the new sanctions package, which includes an oil embargo, has faced some opposition, with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban likening it to an “atomic bomb” dropped on the economy.