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A fundraiser launched by the international gaming community has raised more than £25,000 in one morning as the sector rallies in support of the people of Ukraine.

The fundraiser was set up by SBC founder and CEO Rasmus Sojmark, BeyondPlay CEO and founder Karolina Pelc, head of strategic events at Better Collective Shona O’Donnell and All In Diversity Project co-founder Kelly Kehn.

The campaign, which is live on fundraising platform GoFundMe, is targeting £250,000 in donations. Donations to the Gaming Industry for Ukraine fundraiser can be made here.

The fund is collecting donations to be sent to international charity Choose Love, which aims to provide refugees and displaced people with resources from lifesaving search and rescue boats to food and legal advice.

Sojmark has called upon the gambling industry to come together and demonstrate its support for the people of Ukraine, whose territory was invaded by Russian troops last week.

“The global gambling industry is a family and what has become clear over the past few days is the strength of responsibility it feels in providing assistance to the people of Ukraine,” Sojmark commented. 

“Most [gaming industry] organisations employ people from the country, or have done business in the region, shared a drink with them and above all have made friends with them.”

In addition to calls for financial donations, the campaign is also appealing to companies with leftover and unused promotional merchandise such as power banks, towels, water bottles, and clothing to send to Ukraine in order to help the aid effort.

Companies wishing to donate any unused promotional stock should contact karolinapelc@beyondplay.io.

Today, on the sixth day of Russian aggression in Ukraine, a missile strike against an administrative building in the nation’s second largest city of Kharkiv caused at least 20 injuries, including a child, while local authorities seek to clarify the death toll of the attack.

Kharkiv is a largely residential city with little or no military targets, but Russian forces have bombarded the city for several days with bombs, rockets and artillery fire.

In response, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of committing war crimes.

People in the southern city of Kherson say it is now surrounded, while the mayor of Mariupol, a port city also in the south of Ukraine, said it had been fired upon overnight.

Meanwhile, new satellite images today showed a 40-mile long Russian military convoy snaking its way toward the capital of Kyiv, where air raid sirens continued to ring out this morning.

Alongside other international leaders, UK prime minister Boris Johnson has condemned Russia’s actions in the unprovoked conflict, calling Russian tactics, including attempts to starve cities of food by surrounding them and not allowing resources to enter, “barbaric and indiscriminate”.

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