UK’s ‘Captain Tom’ inspires campaign by 97-year-old Russian

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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Inspired by 99-year-old Briton Tom Moore’s multi-million-pound charity walk, a Russian fellow World War II veteran has launched her own effort to gather contributions for the families of doctors and nurses who have died of COVID-19.

Zinaida Korneva, 97, isn’t walking laps in her garden as Moore did in the days up to his 100th birthday last month. Instead, she’s launched a website with videos telling of her trials as a Red Army soldier in the Stalingrad region.

In this handout family photo taken during the World War II Soviet Army sergeant Zinaida Korneva, now World War II veteran, is one of a few photos she shows during her interview with the Associated Press in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, May 5, 2020. Inspired by Captain Tom Moore’s renowned fund-raising effort amid the corona-virus pandemic, Zinaida Korneva, 97, Russian World War II veteran has launched her own effort to gather contributions for the families of doctors and nurses who have died of the infection. (Courtesy of Zinaida Korneva via AP)

In one of the videos, she credits Moore, who served in the British army during WWII and rose to the rank of captain, as her inspiration.

In this handout family photo taken by Dmitry Panov, Zinaida Korneva, World War II veteran sits during her interview with the Associated Press as her great-great grandchild Richard Panov looks at a medal in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, May 5, 2020.Inspired by Captain Tom Moore’s renowned fund-raising effort amid the corona-virus pandemic, Zinaida Korneva, 97, Russian World War II veteran has launched her own effort to gather contributions for the families of doctors and nurses who have died of the infection. (Dmitry Panov via AP)

“Hello Tom. I learned about your story. You are a strong person and a real soldier,” she says, displaying a chestful of medals. “We defeated fascism together in 1945. And now, together, we’re fighting against this virus.”

The efforts by Moore, who became widely known as “Captain Tom,” became a worldwide sensation and raised more than 30 million pounds ($37 million) for charities affiliated with Britain’s National Health Service.

In this family photo taken by Dmitry Panov, Zinaida Korneva, World War II veteran, shows the socks she knitted for Thomas Moore, a British World War II veteran who raised millions of pounds for charity in the run-up to his 100th birthday, during her interview with the Associated Press in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, May 5, 2020. Inspired by Captain Tom Moore’s renowned fund-raising effort amid the coronavirus pandemic, Zinaida Korneva, 97, Russian World War II veteran has launched her own effort to gather contributions for the families of doctors and nurses who have died of the infection. (Dmitry Panov via AP)

And he’s also getting a special gift from Korneva — she knitted him a pair of socks.

“Let them keep you warm with love from Russia,”she said.

In this handout family photo taken by Dmitry Panov, the socks with St. George’s ribbon, which Zinaida Korneva, World War II veteran knitted for Thomas Moore, a British World War II veteran who raised millions of pounds for charity in the run-up to his 100th birthday, prepared to send are displayed in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, May 5, 2020. Inspired by Captain Tom Moore’s renowned fund-raising effort amid the corona-virus pandemic, Zinaida Korneva, 97, Russian World War II veteran has launched her own effort to gather contributions for the families of doctors and nurses who have died of the infection. (Dmitry Panov via AP)

As of Tuesday, Korneva’s campaign had raised over $26,000 in five days and she hopes to accumulate $40,000.

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