The money received from the sale of a collection of T-shirts with the image of Russian President Vladimir Putin on them will be spent for the medical treatment of 8-month boy Zhenya Ezikian, who had been taken to Russia from Ukraine's Slavyansk.
"This story can not leave anyone indifferent. We contacted the mother of the baby and are sending the money to her account. We very much hope that Zhenya will recover very soon," activists told ITAR-TASS at Moscow's GUM Department Store.
Zhenya was diagnosed with spinal amyotrophy. When he turned six months, the little boy was connected to artificial respirator unit at a hospital in Slavyansk. On May 30, a shell hit the building of the hospital. The talks to evacuate the baby continued for more than a week. On June 10th, the child was flown on board An-74 aircraft to St. Petersburg.
Presently, the boy receives inpatient treatment at the clinic of the St. Petersburg State Pediatric Medical Academy.
Zhenya Ezekian has recently received a surgery; the operation was successful. The child was disconnected from the artificial respirator unit.
The medical examination of the child revealed that in addition to genetic problems, the child suffers from problems with the cardiovascular system. "We saw serious changes of the heart. The treatment helped to reduce the blood pressure and tachycardia," the rector of St. Petersburg Academy, Vladimir Levanovich said.
The eight-month baby suffers from a genetic disease, when neurons in the spinal cord are not active, and muscles do not receive signals for contraction.
Patriotic T-shirts with the image of Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared on the shelves of GUM Department Store on June 11. A batch of three thousand shirts was sold in the next few hours. According to designers, they were inspired with recent international events to create the collection. The shirts feature Putin's images that were styled to reflect Russia's major international achievements of recent time: the reunification with the Crimea, the Sochi Olympics and the triumph of the Russian national team at the World Ice Hockey Championship. The collection has 15 styles, in particular with Putin on horseback with a slogan "Not Gonna Get Us"; in a green Hawaiian shirt, with a cocktail in his hand "Greetings from Crimea;" Putin in camouflage "The most courteous of people;" black-and-white image of Putin wearing sunglasses; the president in a suit and the words "I read your mind."
One such T-shirt was priced at 1,200 rubles ($34). People started lining up at the shop immediately after the sales started. According to ITAR-TASS, during the first hour of the sale of "All the way" ("Vsyo Putyom") collection, more than 100 shirts were sold.
The T-shirts were available at GUM before June 13. The authors of the project from Volgograd, Ivan Yershov and Anna Trifonova, said that the idea to create a series of T-shirts of three thousand copies appeared spontaneously. The designers were inspired with the success of the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia's unification with the Crimea and the victory of the national team at the World Ice Hockey Championship.
On June 12, Russia's Day, as many as 5,000 shirts were sold.
It took the designers a month to prepare the sketches. The project had no sponsors. The young people said that they were ready to realize their products in any country, including Ukraine, should orders arrive.
According to the designers, they sent samples of the prints to Putin, as well as a letter requesting permission to use the image for commercial purposes. However, they did not receive a response from the Kremlin.