Ukrainian family hosted by Matt Hancock to sell NFT paintings for aid charity

A Ukrainian refugee family who are being hosted by former health secretary Matt Hancock are putting a collection of NFT paintings up for a charity sale.

The West Suffolk MP has announced that the money raised would go to relief and aid agency Care International UK’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

Mr Hancock, who began hosting the family in April, said he was “incredibly proud” to support Iryna Korobkina and her artist husband Oleg Mischenko, who are selling the 15-piece NFT collection.

The former I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here contestant added: “Their spirit and bravery in the face of adversity – like so many Ukrainians – is inspiring and I urge people to help in any way they can.

“Oleg is an incredibly talented artist and his From Ukraine, With Love collection is truly stunning.”

Mr Mischenko’s works were painted before the war, and later turned into digital items called non-fungible tokens (NFT) – a type of certificate of ownership for virtual assets such as memes or tweets.

After escaping Russian forces in March, he stayed behind while his family found refuge in the UK.

Mr Mischenko joined the army, but due to his health he was not sent to fight and in December was reunited with his family in Suffolk.

The member of the National Union of Artists in Ukraine said: “Selling off my works as part of this NFT collection is a way of serving my country and its people.

“It’s also my way of defending our cultural values, our philosophy and our European way of life.”

He also had his works, which were on display in the Ukrainian port city of Odesa, shipped to West Suffolk.

Ms Korobkina said: “My husband has captured Ukraine’s beauty. Tragically, some of these places are now unrecognisable following the war.”

She also “thanked” Mr Hancock and the UK for welcoming refugees into their homes.

“People have been very kind here in England. We want to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts,” she added.

In February this year, Mr Hancock announced that the Ukrainian family had found jobs, a school for their five-year-old daughter Mariana and a new home.

Coinbase, which is conducting the NFT sale, is not taking a fee and 90% of all money raised is going to Care International UK’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, with 10% going to Ms Korobkina’s family.

Care International UK have been supporting Ukrainian refugees with basic needs and psychological support in the UK and abroad.

The NFTs will be sold at The NFT Gallery, on Dover Street, in London’s Mayfair on Monday February 27.