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May the force be with Ukraine: ‘Star Wars’ actor backs drone drive

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US actor Mark Hamill is the latest celebrity ambassador to back President Volodymyr Zelensky's UNITED24 fundraising platform, which was launched following Russia's invasion of Ukraine./AFP
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Sep 30, 2022 - 09:27 AM

LOS ANGELES — Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the “Star Wars” film series, announced Thursday his support for a fundraising drive to buy drones for Ukraine as it battles “the evil empire.”

Hamill is the latest celebrity ambassador to back Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s UNITED24 fundraising platform, which was launched following Russia’s invasion.

The actor, who as Skywalker used his X-wing spacecraft to disrupt the diabolical “Galactic Empire,” will specifically spearhead a project to provide drones to the Ukrainian army.

“I know for certain that Ukrainians need drones to protect their land, their freedom and the values of the entire democratic world,” Hamill said in a statement.

“Right now is the best time for everyone to come together and help Ukraine stand up in this war with the evil empire.”

The “Army of Drones” project acquires remote-controlled flying drones, and funds their maintenance and pilot training, in order for the Ukrainian army to “constantly monitor the 2,470- kilometer- (1,500-mile-) long frontline and provide an effective response to enemy attacks,” according to its website.

The Ukrainian military has received almost 1,000 drones via the program, which also allows people to donate their own drones as well as cash.

Other UNITED24 ambassadors include actor-singer Barbra Streisand and former Ukrainian football player Andriy Shevchenko.

Zelensky earlier posted on his Telegram account photos of himself on a video call with Hamill, with a caption describing the actor’s “difficult yet very important mission.”

“The light will win over darkness. I believe in this, our people believe in this,” added Zelensky in a joint statement with Hamill.

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