The world watched in horror this week as Russian forces invaded Ukraine.
President Vladimir Putin led Russia in the multi-pronged attack by land, air and sea on Thursday, now dubbed “the most significant military action in Europe for decades”.
The full-scale invasion has claimed over 100 lives and is thought to have displaced over 100,000 people.
As Russian forces advance towards Kyiv, Ukrainian civilians have been fleeing their homes in an attempt to get to safer territory. But those who are unable to escape have been forced to stay in the war zone, with local stations being used as communal bus shelters and children wearing stickers identifying their blood types in case they’re attacked.
“President Putin of Russia has unleashed war in our European continent”, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced to the nation shortly after the invasion. “He has attacked a friendly country without any provocation and without any credible excuse.”
He continued: “Innumerable missiles and bombs have been raining down on an entirely innocent population. A vast invasion is underway by land by sea and by air. And this is not in the infamous phrase some faraway country of which we know little. We have Ukrainian friends in this country; neighbours, co-workers. Ukraine is a country that for decades has enjoyed freedom and democracy and the right to choose its own destiny. We – and the world – cannot allow that freedom just to be snuffed out. We cannot and will not just look away.”
As world leaders commit to imposing sanctions on the Russian government, people all over the world are desperate to know how they can help the people of Ukraine on an individual level. So, what can we do to support the displaced people affected by the conflict right now?
The situation in Ukraine is extremely distressing and there is an overwhelming communal sense of helplessness as we watch events unfold. But from putting pressure on the PM to impose further sanctions on the Russian government, to donating to organisations working on the ground in Ukraine, there are things that we can all do on an individual level to help.
Write to your local MP
Campaigners are encouraging people to write to their MPs to call for the British government to place further and harsher sanctions on the Russian government. Find the name and address of your local MP here.
As well as keeping informed and contacting local MPs, we can also make change by supporting and donating to organisations that are giving aid in Ukraine.
Donate to an organisation providing aid on the ground
1. United Help Ukraine
United Help Ukraine is raising money to provide medical supplies, food and humanitarian aid on the ground for Ukrainian refugees and people that have been injured in the war.
2. Razom for Ukraine
Razom for Ukraine is collecting donations for its emergency response to provide essential services on the ground. These include delivering medical supplies, stationing volunteers, sharing vital information and translating important documents.
3. British Red Cross
The British Red Cross’ Ukrainian crisis appeal is raising donations to help get Ukrainian civilians food, medicines, basic medical supplies, shelter and water.
4. Revived Soldiers Ukraine
RSU is a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing essential support to the people of Ukraine on the ground, from medical aid and rehabilitation to supporting women and children.
5. Army SOS
Army SOS is an organisation using funds to provide supplies for Ukrainian soldiers, including ammunition, shields, uniforms and food.
Support local Ukrainian journalism
There has never been a more important time to support Ukrainian journalism. This can be done by donating to Ukrainian publications that are reporting on the ground, namely the Kyiv Independent and the Ukraine Crisis Media Center. Alternatively, you can also donate to the International Press Institute, an organisation that protects journalism globally.
We will continue to update this article.