Exploring UkraineDAO — The World’s First Wartime DAOby@penworth
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Exploring UkraineDAO — The World’s First Wartime DAO

by Olayimika Oyebanji August 25th, 2022
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UkraineDAO is widely known as the internet collective that recently pulled in $8 million in crypto donations in support of Ukraine’s defense and war relief. But it is much more than a DAO that was the leading force behind fundraising. It is the first wartime DAO in history.

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Ukraine DAO is widely known as the internet collective that recently pulled in $8 million in crypto donations in support of Ukraine’s defense and war relief. But it is much more than a DAO that was the leading force behind fundraising. It is the first wartime DAO in history.

Becoming a wartime DAO

Prior to its official endorsement by Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation, Ukraine DAO was a key player in fundraising and the mobilisation of support for the Ukrainian cause. In early March 2022, it donated a whopping $4 million to Come Back Alive, a foundation dedicated to providing military aid to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Besides, as part of its ongoing effort to help Ukraine win the war, Ukraine DAO advocates for visa ban for Russians. It also has its own team of fact checkers tracking Russian propaganda and disinformation. It uses Discord, Notion and social media platforms to call out the corruption in Western media.

In its new role as an info warfare DAO, Ukraine DAO is able to essentially scrutinise and debunk fake news stories from the various mainstream media agencies littering the info space. On many occasions it has consistently labelled Reuters as the largest Russian propaganda news agency. They have also published similar exposés about the ICRC, the UN and Amnesty International.

Financial Transparency

Since February when Ukraine DAO first came onboard, it has donated $7 million directly to Ukraine with $4 million of the total amount sent to Come Back Alive, its main beneficiary till date. The rest of the funds were sent to Ukraine’s official ETH wallet, OutRight Ukraine Fund (charity supporting queer people in crisis in Ukraine), as well as to Psychology for Human Rights, for mental health assistance for victims in Ukraine.

As the Washington Post reports, “ In the timelines of Web 3, it has already become a kind of historic marker, even though it just happened in March.”

A DAO On The Line

Exemplifying how DAOs can support a worthy cause in a war of this proportion, Ukraine DAO currently has at its disposal a fleet of thirty trucks with its stickers on them. They are all of a piece and are laden with humanitarian aid delivered in strategic locations across the war-torn country.

In May, one of the trucks had to enter the war zone in the Kharkiv region to deliver food items. Ukraine DAO’s Operational lead Alona praised the truck driver, Oleksandr, for his courage and determination to help fellow Ukrainians.

                                               UkraineDAO’s co-founder Alona Shevchenko

A Day in Life of Ukraine DAO’s Core Contributor

Ukraine DAO boasts a large team of contributors with diverse backgrounds — after all, the Ukranian cause is supported by millions of people across the world. They recently held their first offline meetup in London.

Ukraine DAO is an extremely active collective. Operating as a wartime DAO of this magnitude requires staying abreast of the latest developments of the war theatre. The updates come into their Discord almost every few minutes as team members discuss the latest updates and make decisions on the course of actions.

                                                              Photo credit:@pdocumentarians

Documenting Russian war crimes in Ukraine

Ukraine DAO is also helping the Stanford-backed project the Starling Lab document Russian war crimes. Starling Lab’s Project Dokaz is one of Ukraine DAO’s most impactful partnerships. They use blockchain to record and store the world’s most important information — evidence of war crimes and genocide.

The data collected by their Ukrainian team in Kharkiv has now been submitted to the International Criminal Court, which is unprecedented for a DAO.

Kyiv Tech Summit

The latest initiative is being launched in collaboration with Unchain Fund & Atlantis World is called Kyiv Tech Summit. This first-of-its-kind unique event aims to bring together some of the best developers, technology providers, designers, innovators, and product evangelists who are looking to solve tangible, on-the-ground issues to aid the Ukrainian people in their fight for freedom. A few days ago, the project was endorsed on Twitter by Vitalik Buterin:

The hackathon organised as part of Kyiv Tech Summit will tackle the issues of broken communications and infrastructure, massive disinformation campaign waged by Russia, refugee crisis as well as humanitarian situation on the ground.The hackathon will be held in Kyiv on 6–9 September. Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation has just announced its support.


The genocidal Russian war in Ukraine is now in its seventh month, and has fast become a humanitarian disaster. With no end to it in sight, Ukraine DAO remains a fascinating case for how charity, war relief, and evacuation efforts can be organized through DAOs.

Also published here.