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01st Feb 2023

UK government set to donate eyewatering sum of Abramovich’s money to Ukraine foundation

Callum Boyle

The government are seeking EU approval

The UK government are seeking EU approval before donating £2.3bn from Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea sale to charitable causes across Ukraine.

A foundation, headed up and created by former UNICEF chief executive Mike Penrose, was set up between the government and Abramovich last year.

As reported by The Telegraph, the donation will be one of the biggest charitable donations to war victims in history, and could be completed within weeks.

Abramovich relinquished control of Chelsea weeks after 19 years of ownership last February following Vladimir Putin’s orders for Russia to invade Ukraine.

His assets were frozen by the UK government, along with a number of other Russian oligarchs, with then foreign secretary Liz Truss citing his “close links” to Putin as the reason why.

Roman Abramovich

Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital took over Chelsea in May, putting an agreement in place to distribute the proceeds to victims of the war.

Penrose will now enact that agreement, pending approval from the EU, as Abramovich is also currently sanctioned across the continent.

He told The Telegraph last year: “The foundation can meet an immediate need to scale up the provision of humanitarian aid including medical equipment, trauma, surgery equipment, and an ability to meet the needs of conflict affected populations near the frontline in sectors such as the provision of food, nutrition, basic services, and very importantly, education as well as medical support.

“There is the need to support Ukrainian institutions that have been overloaded because when you have that level of displacement, obviously you get schools that are suddenly taking in far more children than they are equipped to deal with.”

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