Millions of pounds raised by the sale of a Jeff Koons sculpture have helped fund a network of rehabilitation centres for injured Ukrainian soldiers.
Balloon Monkey, a towering magenta work, made more than £10 million when it went under the hammer at Christie’s in June.
It was donated by Ukrainian businessman and philanthropist Victor Pinchuk and his wife Olena as part of a fundraising effort following the Russian invasion.
The Pinchuks are using the money to create the Recovery network, which will initially contain six rehabilitation facilities in the Kyiv, Lviv, Odesa, Dnipro and Vinnytsia regions.
The project is currently working on designing the centres and purchasing equipment, and each location will offer physiotherapy and special physical rehabilitation facilities.
Seriously wounded soldiers and civilians will also be sent abroad for complex prosthetics.
The first seven wounded soldiers have already begun treatment in partner private medical clinics Oberig and RMED.
This month the first two soldiers will travel to Poland to receive complex prosthetics.
Mr Pinchuk said: “The Recovery project is a very important opportunity for us at least partially to express our gratitude to our heroes who were seriously wounded in the war against the ‘rashists’ for the independence, freedom and future of Ukraine and the whole world.
“It is our responsibility to help them return to a full life. I wish them to recover as soon as possible. They are the best of us, we are proud of them and incredibly grateful.”
Mrs Pinchuk added: “The war takes away thousands of lives – both civilian Ukrainian men and women, and, above all, soldiers. A lot of our soldiers are seriously injured and wounded.
“This is the price they pay, protecting each of us, our lives, our state, our freedom. In the Recovery project, we involve the experience of modern medicine and the latest rehabilitation technologies, so I believe and hope that our heroes will return to normal life as soon as possible.”
Mr Pinchuk established his charitable foundation in 2006, since when it has funded the installation of free contemporary art in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, while Olena’s foundation, established in 2003, has worked to fight the spread of Aids in the country among other initiatives.
Since Russia’s invasion began in February, both foundations have worked to support hospitals, medical workers and those injured while fighting on the frontline.