• Ukraine is reaching out to meme investors to support its defense against Russian forces.
  • The country has raised more than $50 million worth of crypto and has even begun accepting dogecoin.
  • "Now even meme can support our army and save lives from Russian invaders," Ukraine's vice prime minister said.

Ukraine is capitalizing on an unlikely movement to fund its military: meme investing. 

As Ukraine defends itself against Russian forces, the country has been using its Twitter account to reach out to retail investors obsessed with memes, crypto, and Elon Musk. The concept of investing based on popular social media trends and memes took off last year, when millions of retail traders mobilized on Reddit and powered massive rallies in stocks like GameStop and cryptocurrencies like dogecoin and shiba inu.

In a matter of days, Ukraine has raised a whopping $54 million worth of cryptocurrency in the form of bitcoin, ether, and polkadot, since posting its digital wallet addresses on Twitter, Elliptic data show. On Tuesday, Ukraine announced it was even accepting donations of the original meme-token dogecoin.  

"Now even meme can support our army and save lives from Russian invaders," Ukraine Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov wrote on Twitter, noting that the value of dogecoin exceeded the Russian ruble, which has tumbled against the US dollar in the wake of crippling sanctions on the country's economy.

As part of the tweet, Fedorov, who is also the country's head of digital transformation, tagged Tesla chief Elon Musk — an icon among meme-savvy investors who is known for pushing crypto, especially dogecoin, while moving markets and angering regulators with his tweets.

Though Musk hasn't yet replied to the dogecoin tweet from the Ukrainian minister, he responded to a previous call to provide a connection to Starlink's satellite internet. Musk promptly tweeted back, "Starlink service is now active in Ukraine."

As part of the country's crypto fundraising efforts, it previously announced an airdrop, which according to CoinDesk, is is a marketing tool that distributes tokens to community members in the hopes of more people participating in a crypto project. The country ended up canceling the airdrop but said it will soon announce NFTs "to support Ukrainian Armed Forces," Fedorov tweeted Thursday.

NFTs, which are digital tokens tied to blockchain technology, have already been helping Ukraine. One donor gifted a CryptoPunk worth at least $200,000 to the country. On top of that, a crypto collective called the UkraineDAO sold an NFT of a Ukrainian flag for $6 million to support the country. Others have been simply transferring their NFTs to the country's wallet in support of the cause.

The country has sought crypto donations since Russia's military invaded Ukraine last week. The two countries held a second round of cease-fire talks Thursday after Putin's forces captured a major Ukrainian city. The Russian invasion prompted widespread sanctions from the West that have hit the country's fiat currency and its economy hard. 

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