Ukrainian Soldiers Raise Money Selling Custom Notes With a Twist


The ongoing war in Ukraine seems to be neverending. One creative student has found a way to help his country raise money to fight Russian troops.

Anton Sokolenko raised thousands of dollars to support local troops by adding custom messages on artillery shells, which Ukrainian soldiers end up firing at the Russian army. Shells go for $40 a pop with anything you want to be written on the outside.

Messages like “Happy Father’s Day” and “From Albania, With Love” have been inscribed on the shells before getting used to fight against Russia. Sokolenko has posted ads all over social media for his products.

“You have a chance to kill orcs with your text on 82mm artillery grenade that will be fired at Russian soldiers,” reads one of the promotional posts. Orc is a commonly used Ukrainian insult for Russian soldiers.

Along with a custom message written on the side of a shell, customers will receive a photo of their signed grenade. Sokolenko confirmed that the images used are unlikely going to give away the soldiers’ identities or locations.

Orders are taken online, some using a Telegram channel. Sokolenko works with a local NGO to get the shells inscribed. Then he sends the pictures back and gives the $40 to the NGO.

The NGO, “Center for Assistance to the Army, Veterans and Their Families,” independently confirmed that Sokolenko is a registered volunteer who has sent in more than $18,000 in donations. The money has provided tactical equipment and goods to nearby battalions throughout the war.

Sokolenko had several other small ideas to help raise money before landing on this project. After gaining his first 1,600 followers, he approached the NGO and asked them what they needed to buy. In May 2022, Sokolenko got the idea for the custom messages on artillery shells when he saw that soldiers were inscribing them with messages to avenge their fallen colleagues.

Orders have come in from all over the world, including Belgium, Germany, Albania and Australia.


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