On the early morning of June 22nd, 1941, all street loudspeakers and home radios across the vastness of the Soviet land came alive. Citizens of all hundred and twenty-eight nationalities, religions and creeds present in the country at the time leaned forward and froze to attention.
The awestruck Motherland tried to grasp the unthinkable as Yuri Levitan – the universally beloved radio announcer – delivered his terrible news: “Attention, says Moscow! We are transmitting an important government message. Men and women of the Soviet Union, today at 4 o’clock in the morning, without any declaration of war, the German armed forces attacked the borders of the Soviet Union. The Great Patriotic War of the Soviet people against the Nazi invaders has begun. Our cause is right! The enemy will be defeated! Victory will be ours!”
I will be the first to tell you that comparing 1941 to 2022 is historically irresponsible, outright dangerous, and, quite frankly, infantile. And yet, I can’t help but hear the sombre Levitan’s baritone on repeat in my head. Because on Feb 24, Russia had sneaked into my country of birth – Ukraine. Barbarossa-style: early morning incursion, no declaration of war, heavy armour columns along the 2300 km of the common Ukraine-Russia border.
Even the most outrageous commentators couldn’t foresee a move so ridiculously bold and potentially devastating to Russia that Twitter is now flush with apologies for “getting it wrong” from experienced journalists, respected political scientists, and pundits with six-figure followings.
I myself am guilty of the same thing: not even in most feverish of my fantasies, I could imagine that Russia and Ukraine would ever be in a war with each other. I have a sneaking suspicion that even those who kept getting rewarded handsomely for fanning the Russiagate couldn’t predict that Putin would really, actually, factually and purposefully cross the Ukrainian border with his armada and start bombing Ukraine, providing the entire world with a legitimate cause to call him Hitler 2.0 and take up arms – virtually and actually – against Russia.
The response from the global civil society to Putin’s crime is absolutely overwhelming. And while many of us might feel helpless when confronted with geopolitical machinations of this scale, the are plenty of great opportunities to get involved and help the people of Ukraine right now.
We’ve already posted the list of crypto wallets officially sanctioned by the Ukrainian government. Here’s a very well-curated and thoroughly vetted list of proven charities compiled by Natalia Burdeyniuk – a friend and TRASTRA community member who’s a native Ukrainian residing with her family in the US.
Stand by the People of Ukraine
Hi, dear neighbour! My name is Nataliya. I am a resident of Colorado Springs, CO. I am a Ukrainian and many of my relatives and friends are in the war zone that Ukraine has become.
I stand in solidarity with Ukraine. For this reason, I’ve donated to organizations that I personally know in Ukraine and compiled this list of local and global organizations working on the ground to assist the victims of this war. Here is a list of organization that I consider worthy of your attention. Please explore their work and ways they are helping in Ukraine. #StandWithUkraine
Ways to Support Humanitarian Aid Initiatives:
Ukrainian Red Cross Society
The Red Cross supports infrastructure repair and food-producing initiatives. It also helps rebuild damaged homes and aids hospitals, schools, mental health facilities, and community centers.
You can send a one-time donation or sign up for monthly contributions on the International Committee of the Red Cross website.
Care – Ukraine Fund
Your emergency gift supports CARE’s Ukraine Crisis Fund to reach 4 million with immediate aid and recovery, food, water, hygiene kits, psychosocial support, and cash assistance — prioritizing women and girls, families, and the elderly.
Local Ukrainian Humanitarian Aid Organizations:
Razom for Ukraine (translation: Together for Ukraine)
Razom is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in the US and operates as Разом Для України in Ukraine. The charity supports the people of Ukraine with projects that promote civic engagement, democratic society, justice, dignity, and human rights for all.
Nova Ukraine (Translation: New Ukraine)
Nova Ukraine is a 501(c)3 that raises awareness about Ukraine in the US and all over the world. The nonprofit organizes fundraisers and Ukrainian cultural events, as well as provides humanitarian aid to vulnerable groups and individuals in Ukraine.
Nova Ukraine is taking donations on its website for humanitarian aid for victims of the Russian invasion.
Sunflower of Peace
Sunflower of Peace empowers orphans, internally displaced persons, and those who have been affected by COVID-19. The organization is currently raising funds to provide first aid tactical backpacks to paramedics and doctors on the front lines
You can donate to the Sunflower of Peace fundraiser on Facebook.
Ways to Support Local Media:
The Kyiv Independent
The Kyiv Independent is an English-language media outlet based in Kyiv and has been on the ground providing detailed reporting about the situation on its website and on Twitter.
Ways to Support Children in Ukraine:
Save the Children
Save the Children delivers essential humanitarian aid to children and their families in Ukraine, including access to education, psychosocial support, winter and hygiene kits, and cash grants to families to meet basic needs. The organization estimates that 7.5 million Ukrainian children are at risk because of the fighting.
You can donate and follow the latest developments on the Save the Children website.
Voices of Children
The Voices of Children Foundation has been helping children affected by the war since 2015. They provide psychological and psychosocial support to children. It helps them overcome the consequences of armed conflict and develop. Today, during the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, we are providing non-stop assistance to affected children and families from all over the country, providing emergency psychological assistance, and assisting in the evacuation process.
Inclusion Europe is asking for humanitarian support to provide basic supplies for the 80,000 children and adults with disabilities in care homes in Ukraine, as well as the 10,000 families taking care of family members with disabilities.
Inclusion Europe is a federation of European organizations that works to provide people with intellectual disabilities equal rights and opportunities to participate in all aspects of life. You can donate on the Inclusion Europe website.
Mission to Ukraine – Emergency Fund
Mission to Ukraine is a Christian organization that helps children with disabilities and their families. MTU launched an emergency fund to raise financial support to resource our staff and community we serve. As of now, MTU remains open in Zhytomir, serving anyone who needs help. https://www.missiontoukraine.org/about
Ways to Support the Soldiers:
National Bank of Ukraine – Support the Troops in Ukraine
The National Bank of Ukraine has decided to open a special fundraising account to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The central bank’s decision comes after the Ukrainian government imposed martial law throughout Ukraine in response to armed aggression by Russia and the renewed threat to Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity. NBU Governor Kyrylo Shevchenko announced the opening of this special account in his 24 February video address.
The Return Alive Foundation
The fund created by the Return Alive Foundation (Save Life in Ukraine) focuses on providing technical assistance in the form of state-of-the-art technical solutions that address pressing issues of the frontline and which require lengthy procurement procedures. Military managers will also continue to work on the line of demarcation in order to better understand the needs of the military and provide the necessary assistance in a timely manner. We will also continue and plan to expand instructor programs and educational programs for officers. https://savelife.in.ua/en/donate/
Revived Soldiers Ukraine
Revived Soldiers Ukraine works to provide medical aid and deliver sustainable living standards to the soldiers of Ukraine and their families, as well as people who have been affected by the military conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
Ways to Support Ukrainians through Local Churches
https://eurasiapartners.org/ is connected with churches all over the country. I personally know Rick Amos and the work he has committed to doing to support the people in Ukraine.
Kirby Holmes is at the head of Storyline which is active in church missions in Ukraine. Storyline is gathering funds for humanitarian aid. Kirby is able to distribute these funds through his network relationships with Baptists and Presbyterians in Western Ukraine who are receiving refugees from the north, south, and east. He is working directly with leaders in these church networks to get them aid. He’s planning, with caution and wisdom, to personally travel to Western Ukraine to help in the aid distribution process. https://www.storylinemissions.org/give/
Mission to the World
Mission to the World – special fund for Ukraine in crisis https://www.mtw.org/ukraine-crisis?1645516473