PHOTO | Tim Dennell
On Feb. 24, 2022, Russian president Vladimir Putin officially declared the start of a Russian invasion on Ukraine, marking the first war Europe has seen in decades. While the political and social impact of this war are likely to be immeasurable, one thing stands out to me above all else right now: the plight of the Ukrainian citizens.
The invasion began minutes after Putin announced their military operation with missile strikes on cities across Ukraine, killing and injuring hundreds of Ukrainian citizens and setting the country into a panic. While many citizens found their way to bomb shelters or underground at subway stations, others began evacuating their homes.
By the end of that Thursday, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed in a national address that there were 137 dead and 316 wounded.
The attacks haven’t stopped there. As the days have gone on, Russia has continued to move in with armed forces and missile strikes, often targeting civilian areas with no discernable strategic importance.
The civilians of Ukraine have faced unimaginable hardships. Families have been uprooted from their homes, forced to leave everything they’ve known behind. Thousands have become refugees in the neighboring countries, though many are yet unable to escape as subways and roadways are overfilled by the procession of people.
As families have been shunted from their homes, they face many issues. Some of this comes from the lack of supplies like food, clean water, shelter and medical supplies. Psychological impact is another issue plaguing many, especially children.
Most countries and humanitarian organizations are doing all they can to help, but this issue—the relocation of hundreds of thousands of people—is larger than they are equipped to handle.
While it may feel impossible to have an impact as an American on the other side of the globe, there are still ways you can help. One way is through word of mouth. The more people who are aware of this issue, the better. Ukraine needs to know that people across the globe are standing with them.
A more direct way to help is through donations. Even if it seems small, every donation, to the last dollar, will be a big help.
There are many non-profit organizations focused on the crisis right now. Razom for Ukraine was created in 2014 with the goal to “Unlock the potential of Ukraine.” They have set up an emergency fund to provide medical supplies to all who need them. Global Giving has created a crisis relief fund to provide food, water, shelter, health, education and more to the refugees. Voices of Children is a foundation dedicated to providing psychological assistance to children affected by war.
These are not the only organizations at work, but they are a few I found particularly moving. If you would like to donate, their websites can be found at razomforukraine.org, www.globalgiving.org, and voices.org.ua/en respectively.