As the war escalates in Ukraine, here’s what you need to know and how you can help people who are affected.
More than 5 million people have been affected since the conflict began with protests against Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2013. When Ukrainians deposed the pro-Russian president the following year, Russia annexed Ukraine’s southern Crimean peninsula and backed separatists who captured large parts of eastern Ukraine. The separatists and the Ukrainian military have been fighting ever since.
Source: Council on Foreign Relations
The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine has impacted the lives of millions of people living in the eastern Donbas region and other parts of the country. At least 54% of people in need of aid are women and girls, 13% are children, and 13% are people with disabilities.
Since Russia annexed Crimea, 1.5 million people have been internally displaced in Ukraine. More than 3,000 civilians have been killed, and 7,000 have been injured. The conflict has damaged or destroyed more than 50,000 homes.
Source: UNOCHA + UNHCR + ReliefWeb
On the front lines, more than 430,000 children are living with psychological wounds and need ongoing support to address the emotional trauma they’ve experienced. Nonprofits like the Non-governmental Organization Women’s Federation for World Peace are providing emotional and psychological support to children and families who were internally displaced.
Source: The New Humanitarian
Help Ukrainians facing war by donating to GlobalGiving’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund.
After a ceasefire in 2020, Russia began moving troops and military equipment near the border with Ukraine in 2021, raising concerns about a potential invasion.
In December 2021, the Russian foreign ministry issued a set of demands to be met before it would withdraw its troops. The demands included the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) banning Ukraine from entering the alliance and reducing NATO troops in eastern Europe, but the United States and other NATO allies have rejected them.
Up to 200,000 troops were positioned near Ukraine’s borders, and Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered what he called “peacekeeping” Russian troops into the two separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine after recognizing their independence on Feb. 21, 2022. Minutes after the Russian president announced a “special military operation” in a televised address on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, Russian missiles began hitting targets in Ukraine.
A full-scale Russian invasion commenced, with assaults in multiple cities and an attempt to capture the capital, Kyiv. As Russian forces withdrew from areas in the north and northeast to refocus their operation in Ukraine’s south and east, bodies with bound hands, close-range gunshot wounds, and signs of torture were found on the outskirts of Kyiv in Bucha.
Russian forces continue to bombard cities, including residential buildings and other civilian targets. Shelling in and around Kharkiv has intensified, weeks after Ukrainian fighters pushed Russian forces away from the northeastern city.
In Severodonetsk, another eastern city, Russian forces are fighting to take full control. Taking the city is one of Russia’s key aims, and it would give them control of almost all of the Luhansk region.
In the southern port of Mariupol, the city’s mayor said more than 10,000 civilians have been killed there in recent months. According to the United Nations human rights office, the official death toll of Ukrainian civilians killed in Ukraine since the invasion began is more than 3,930, and casualties are rising.
Source: BBC + CNN + Reuters
The invasion of Ukraine could leave up to 50,000 civilians dead or wounded and worsen the country’s humanitarian crisis. More than 14 million people have fled their homes in Ukraine. About 8 million people are displaced within the country, and about 6 million people have escaped to Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and other neighboring countries. But Black and brown refugees who are fleeing Ukraine are facing discrimination at border crossings. Many are reporting being turned away or made to wait for days as white Ukrainian refugees are given priority to cross into neighboring countries.
Source: The Washington Post + BBC
The pandemic has made it difficult for millions of people in Ukraine to sustain their livelihoods and access health care. About 1.7 million people live in non-government-controlled areas, where the closure of the 427-kilometer-long “contact line” that divides them from the government-controlled areas has made it difficult to access cash, pensions, administrative services, or even connect with family members since March 2020. That makes people more reliant on humanitarian aid and protection.
Why? Needs will vary greatly. A cash donation gives people in Ukraine the flexibility to get help where it’s needed most. You can learn more about the importance of cash donations to vetted, community-led organizations in this infographic.
Source: GlobalGiving + USAID Center for International Disaster Information
Your donation to GlobalGiving’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund will go to our vetted nonprofit partners that understand needs in Ukraine and will be there to help communities through this prolonged conflict and its long-term impacts.
Source: GlobalGiving Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund
Help Ukrainians facing war by donating to GlobalGiving’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund.Featured Photo: Ukraine Tensions: No Child Forgotten by Charitable Organization Bright Kids Charity
Note: This article was originally published on Feb. 9, 2022 and last updated at 7:37 a.m. on June 21, 2022.
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