NGO Slava Ukraini took in €6.5 million in donations in 2022

Slava Ukraini logo.
Slava Ukraini logo. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

An NGO focused on aid to Ukraine which hit the headlines earlier this year over alleged misuse of donations amassed €6.5 million in said donations last year.

NGO Slava Ukraini had failed to submit its 2022 financial report by the original deadline, eventually doing so on Saturday.

The report stated that "A large number of in-kind donations were collected, whose value is not precisely known.

A total of €1,815,743 was collected in cooperation with the the Rotary Club, Tallinn Old Town branch.

In July 2023 NGO had a change in board makeup in the wake of allegations over the misuse of donations, in Ukraine itself. It is this most recent board which compiled the finanical report.

"The report is primarily based on existing documentation and revisions prepared by BDO Estonia Payroll and Accounting OÜ, and may therefore contain errors of detail," the statement added.

The report covers the period March 7 to December 31, 2022 – in other words the NGO was only set up in the wake of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, starting February 22.

During that time, Slava Ukraini amassed €6,525,488, of which €4,709,745 went directly into Slava Ukraini's own account. As noted, the remaining €1,815,743 euros was collected in cooperation Rotary Club.

The report states that over 90 vehicles were delivered to Ukraine, in addition to 2,200 sets of military winter garb, while food aid was distributed to nearly 18,500 people.

The report states that revenues came to €3,997,390, while expenses were reported at €3,629,943, thus giving a net profit for the year of €362,515.

Payroll costs totaled €119,238 in 2022 across an average of four employees, the report states.

The Prosecutor's Office initiated criminal proceedings at the beginning of May to investigate the use of money collected to support the activities of the NGO's sister organization on the ground in Ukraine; an investigation is concurrently ongoing in Ukraine.

The prosecutor's office has not declared anyone a suspect in the case, partly due to the fact that any charges would have to be brought under Ukrainian law.

Revelations of the alleged misuse of funds became public in May and led to Johanna Maria Lehtme, the NGO's director, having to step down as an Eesti 200 MP.

Lehtme had been elected to parliament just weeks before, running on a campaign platform which expressly referenced her as a helper of Ukraine.

At around the same time was joined on the Slava Ukraini board by Marika Priske, while the new board composition entered office on July 1, tasked with restructuring the organization and its workflows, to find an appropriate and transparent way to use donations already received, and specify the NGO's future plans. 

Thus the NGO's activities will continue for as long as it is deemed needed, and/or for as long as there are sufficient financial resources to fulfill its statutory goals


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Aleksander Krjukov

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