What does United24 mean on President Zelenskyy's sweater?

The United24 charity funds three major sectors - defence, medical aid and rebuilding

Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the European Parliament in Brussels. AP
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Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is in EU capitals urging governments to send more weapons and aid to his embattled country.

But he is also promoting his own fundraising charity, United24, that has brought in millions of dollars for Ukraine.

As he met European leaders in Brussels he wore a his trademark fatigues but also a sweater sporting the United24 logo.

The United24 charity funds three major sectors — defence, medical aid and rebuilding.

For defence it has so far raised $232 million, while medical aid has reached $33 million and reconstruction funds are at $14 million.

In defence, one of the fundraising drives is to help buy RQ-35 Heidrun drones that have been effective in Ukrainian reconnaissance missions.

The RQ-35 Heidrun's flight range is 25km and it can transmit real-time video to gather intelligence without exposing the operator.

Mark Hamill, the actor who played Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movies, is an ambassador for United 24.

Oscar-winning director Michel Hazanavicius is also an ambassador.

Mr Hazanavicius has visited the towns of Irpin and Bucha to see the devastation there.

“I was able to look into their eyes — these people radiate strength and courage,” said the filmmaker.

He has since started a fund-raiser for the restoration of buildings in Irpin, a suburb of Kyiv.

US actor and director Liev Schreiber is another United24 ambassador who has visited Ukraine.

Ukraine's world heavyweight boxing champion Oleksandr Usyk has told how United24 is helping to rebuild the house where a “good friend” of his was killed by Russian soldiers.

Oleksiy Dzhunkivskyi, a former teammate of Usyk, was shot in the hall of the building in Irpin, the boxer said.

Usyk has teamed up with the United24 and is raising funds to restore the badly damaged five-storey house to its former glory.

He said it had been a coincidence that he selected that building to rebuild.

“I randomly chose this house,” he said. “When we came to look at it and saw how destroyed the house was, I was a little surprised.

“In this house there was the boxing gym of my good friend. He and I were in the national team — we went to boxing competitions together.”

He has contributed $205,000 towards the overall cost of $330,000.

Updated: February 09, 2023, 1:15 PM