Vatican in crowdfunding campaign to send thermal underwear to Ukraine

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VATICAN CITY, Dec 15 (Reuters) – The Vatican on Thursday launched a crowdfunding campaign to send thermal underwear to Ukraine to help residents survive the winter as they face power shortages amid the war with Russia.

The Vatican’s charity office said in a statement that it had linked up with the Italian crowdfunding site to raise money to buy the clothing.

The head of the office, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, said Italian companies had already responded to an earlier appeal by donating thermal underwear or providing it at cost.

Krajewski, a Pole who is based in Rome and has carried out several charity missions to Ukraine for Pope Francis this year, said he would personally take the clothing to the country in a convoy of trucks.

The pope urged people on Wednesday to spend less on Christmas celebrations and gifts this year and send the difference to Ukrainians to help them get through the hunger and cold of winter.

Russia has been pounding Ukraine’s energy infrastructure since October, destroying or damaging half of it.

Sergiy and Lina present her destroyed living room at the recaptured village of Osokorivka, Ukraine. The village was liberated by Ukrainian forces in the beginning of April but since then it is still under ongoing fire of Russian army. EPA-EFE/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE

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