Ukraine Sets up 'Send Putin to Jupiter' Fundraiser to Help Rebuild Country

As the invasion of Ukraine continues, the country's vice prime minister has launched a fundraiser for infrastructure repairs—with a tongue-in-cheek appeal for donations to send Russia's President Vladimir Putin to Jupiter.

Mykhailo Fedorov, who is also minister of digital transformation, wrote on Twitter: "Everyone wants Putin to die. Until this happens, we give Ukrainians and the whole world a unique opportunity: to send Putin to Jupiter. Donate $2.99 for a rocket. All funds will be directed to the restoration of the destroyed infrastructure."

Russia's invasion of Ukraine began on February 24 and has already caused severe damage to infrastructure and civilian buildings. Hundreds of deaths have also been reported.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs tweeted on Tuesday: "As heavy fighting continues in #Ukraine, reports of civilian casualties and civilian infrastructure damage increase."

The country's water infrastructure has suffered particularly severe damage, according to the OCHA, with repair efforts hampered by continued shelling.

On February 25, Radio Free Europe correspondent Maryan Kushnir took aerial pictures showing the extensive damage done to military infrastructure and airports in the initial hours of the invasion. The images showed destroyed fuel storage areas and other airport infrastructure at an airfield in the eastern Ukrainian city of Chuhuiv in the Kharkiv region.

The "Send Putin to Jupiter" appeal, which is operated by Fedorov's Ministry of Digital Transformation, has a target of $100 million. At the time of writing on Wednesday morning, it had raised just over $2 million dollars.

The fundraiser follows emergency appeals organized by the United Nations and humanitarian partners, which seek to raise a combined $1.7 billion to aid 12 million people inside Ukraine, as well as an estimated 4 million Ukrainian refugees.

If Fedorov's appeal really were planning to send the Russian president to our solar system's largest planet, would $100 million be enough to fund the mission?

How Much Would It Cost to Send Putin to Jupiter?

Because Jupiter is a giant ball of dense gas, no space agency is currently planning a crewed mission to it.

Jupiter lacks a solid surface, limiting the possibility of Putin setting foot on it, but a crewed orbit of the planet is also unfeasible. According to NASA, this is because the gas giant emits the deadliest radiation in the solar system other than the sun.

NASA has, however, sent unmanned missions to Jupiter. The most recent fly-bys of the gas giant were conducted by the Juno spacecraft. The Juno mission has cost a total of $1.13 billion, including spacecraft design, instrumentation, launch and data processing as well as the 1,232 kilograms of fuel needed to reach the gas giant.

Even traveling at a top speed of 165,000 miles per hour, it took Juno almost five years to reach Jupiter. It was launched on August 5, 2011, and arrived at the planet's upper atmosphere on July 4, 2016.

This is almost 10 times greater than the speed of the space shuttle, which is estimated at around 17,000 mph by NASA, so a hypothetical crewed mission to Jupiter, perhaps carrying a high-ranking Russian official, would take even longer to traverse the 540 million miles between Earth and the gas giant.

Assuming a straight conversion, it would take the space shuttle just under 100 years to send Putin to Jupiter and bring him home, although the Ukrainian appeal makes no mention of a return trip.

Donations to the appeal to repair damaged infrastructure in Ukraine can be made at the website Putler.io.

Putin Jupiter
A poster created for a Ukrainian government appeal to raise money for infrastructure repairs. The appeal jokingly suggests making a $2.99 donation to send Russia's president to Jupiter. Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine