Ukraine-Russia war: NY politician holds gun drive as Ukraine citizens take up arms against Russian invaders
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A New York politician organized a gun drive for legal gun owners to donate weapons intended to be shipped to Ukraine, where citizens have taken up arms against their Russian invaders.
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman hosted a press conference Thursday at SP Firearms Unlimited in Franklin Square, N.Y. He said the legal firearms dealer, with assistance from the Nassau County Police Department, will be collecting over the next four days donations of unloaded rifles, shotguns or an AR-15 or other long gun weapons from legal gun owners to be sent to the Ukrainian people.
The weapons will be placed in storage “until we can get the American government to ship those weapons to the Ukraine,” Blakeman said.
“We will collect them,” he added. “President Biden, you get them there.”
It’s unclear if shipping donated weapons to Ukraine will be possible.
“The County has asked the Biden admin for help transporting,” Blakeman’s spokesman told Fox News Digital. “There are companies that can export weapons to foreign countries, but it takes a lot of time. That is why we have asked the president for help. We have not yet heard back.”
The Pentagon has ordered tens of thousands of U.S. troops to Europe to bolster NATO’s eastern flank, but so far, the Biden administration has said American soldiers will not fight a war in Ukraine.
Most members of NATO and the European Union have been funneling weapons, including rocket launchers, antitank missiles, machine guns, sniper rifles and ammunition, into Ukraine since Russia invaded eight days ago. Russian forces seized Kherson and are closing in on the capital of Kyiv.
Members of Long Island’s Ukrainian American community joined Blakeman on Thursday.
“As we speak, my phone is ringing right now… people telling me my country is going to be destroyed,” Misha Migdal, representative of the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said. “There are people fighting there not just for their lives, they’re fighting for what probably resonated with every normal American, they’re fighting for their freedom to exist as a free people in their own country.”
“They’re fighting by themselves,” Migdal added. “They’ve been 30 years a free country without communism, without the Soviets and this whole generation grew up there and were raised out of the feeling of freedom. And now it seems like the evil is coming back.”
“They need to be able to fight and survive this aggression,” Volodymyr Tsyalkovsky, leader of Ukrainian Americans of Long Island, said at Thursday’s press conference. “People of Ukraine have a tremendous resilience and tremendous patriotism. The way this disaster united us is unprecedented. We see the support and continued effort to end this war.”
Blakeman compared the Ukrainian citizens taking up arms to fight Russian troops to the French Resistance and the Polish Partisans taking up arms against the Nazis during World War II.
“President Zelenskyy for the last few days has been begging for weapons, begging for help. How can we sit by silently and not do our part?” Blakeman added Thursday. “In the United States, we have over 300 million legal guns. If we could just get three-tenths of a percent of those guns to the Ukraine with donations from the American people, legal gun owners, we could get a million guns to the Ukraine.”
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