The war in Ukraine is generating a daring humanitarian crisis. If you are willing to help the Ukrainian population, here are some suggestions.
As an ordinary citizen, you can sometimes feel too small to make a real difference, especially during serious conflicts like the current war between Russia and Ukraine. Here you find a list of ways to help the Ukrainian population.
1. Take part in protests:
The biggest European cities are organizing protests against this conflict. For example, more than 100,000 people gathered in Berlin on February the 27th. People protest to show solidarity with Ukrainian citizens, to oppose against the Russian policies and to let the local and national governments know that public opinion is unanimous and that the war must be stopped at all costs. Here below is a list of the next events in Berlin and how to find protests in other cities:
Search for protests in the nearest city: https://standwithukraine.live/
2. Contact local and national politicians
Local politicians: get in touch writing them by email, by phone or in person. Ask them to take part in the protests, and assure them that you would be willing to tolerate increases in food or energy consumption in exchange for serious economic sanctions against Russia.
National politicians: If you live in Germany, tag @OlafSholz on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. There are mainly three demands to be made:
• Demand a no-fly zone. This will serve both to protect Ukraine from possible air conflicts and to change the balance of power on the battlefield, as the Ukrainian army is ahead on the ground but in trouble from above. You should write a message like this:
Sehr geehrte @OlafSholz, Bitte initiieren Sie die Flugverbotszone über dem Territorium der #Ukraine, entweder durch #NATO oder #UN. Um Schutz vor dem Luftraum zu gewähren! #StandWithUkriane #NoFlyZone #SendNatoToUkraine
Translation: Dear @OlafSholz, please start the no-fly zone on the territory of #Ukraine, via #NATO or via #UN. To ensure protection from above! #StandWithUkraine #NoFlyZone #SendNATOToUkraine
• Request defence aid. In particular, military equipment for anti-aircraft defence and secure means of communication for the Ukrainian army. Example of message:
Sehr geehrte @OlafSholz, Stellen Sie der #Ukraine massive Verteidigungshilfe zur Verfügung → Allwaffen- Luftabwehrsystem, Anti-UAV-Abwehrsystem, mehr schwere Waffen, Frühwarnsysteme für Raketenangriffe. #StandWithUkraine #UkraineUnderAttack
Translation: Dear @OlafSholz, provide massive aid to #Ukraine’s defence → air defence system with all weapons, anti-UAV defence system, heavier weapons, early warning systems for missile attacks. #StandWithUkraine #UkraineUnderAttack
• Demand economic sanctions for Russia. Weakening Russia’s economy means weakening its military:
Sehr geehrte @OlafSholz, Isolieren Sie #Russland von der Weltwirtschaft. Verbieten Sie russische Flüge und Flugzeuge auf Ihrem Territorium. #CloseTheSky #StopWar #StandWithUkraine
Translation: Dear @OlafSholz, isolate #Russia from the world economy. Ban Russian flights and planes on your territory. #CloseTheSky #StopWar #StandWithUkraine
3. Find Ukrainian communities in your city
One of the most effective ways to make a tangible difference is to get in touch with the Ukrainian community in your city and keep up to date with protests and fundraisers or non-perishable goods. In addition, requests for help, such as car rides or hospitality requests could be posted, too. To find Ukrainian communities in your city, if it is not on the list, just search on Facebook “Ukrainians in…” / Українці в …”.
Munich – Ukrainer in München
Frankfurt am Main – Ukrainians in Frankfurt am Main
4. Get in touch with Ukrainian acquaintances
Contact your acquaintances in Ukraine, write down their names, where they live and keep in touch with them. This is a good time to reconnect with people you got to know during travels, because of work or thanks to cultural exchanges. If necessary, be also prepared to listen and offer support to Ukrainian citizens living in Germany.
5. Pay attention to information sources!
It is more important than it seems: propaganda is part of every war. The Russians, during the 2016 US presidential election, had already developed strategies to promote false and controversial news to hijack public opinion. Russia has already started spreading false information about the reasons for their invasion in Ukraine, and fake news will be spread even more in the future. For example, images and videos from other conflicts are being and will be used to create false narratives, such as the illusion that Ukraine is not fighting back, a narrative that does not reflect the reality of the facts. As Jane Lytvynenko, a media and public policy researcher at Harvard, pointed out, propaganda “relies on misinformation of Western audiences, who don’t know the details of a conflict that has been going on for eight years”. Therefore, you should always make sure that the sources of information you consult are reliable and don’t report fake news, even when posted by friends.
6. Donate to the Ukrainian army or to humanitarian organisations
7. Send non-perishable and first aid goods
New Poshta Global ships humanitarian aid from their warehouses around the world to Ukraine. Volunteers can ship to the nearest New Poshta Global warehouse and their donations will be directed to where they are needed. Warehouse address in Germany:
GERMANY Rauschwalder Str 41 NP400007070
Aqua Calida Sp. z o.o.
Phone: +49 151 58413734, Monday to Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 14:00 p.m.
8. Do you have space at home? Get ready to host refugees
Poland has opened its borders and Germany is ready to welcome those who will arrive, too. The first refugees have already arrived. You can provide accommodation for those who will need it. Here is the form to fill out:
9. Sign the petitions. There are several causes to join, for example:
To end relations of any kind with companies linked to Russia, sign the petition at the following link.
Sign the petition to recognize Putin’s war crimes at the following link.
To ask NATO to close the skies over Ukraine to help the Ukrainian army, sign this petition.
To create humanitarian corridors in Ukraine, sign the petition at the following link.
Cover image ©photosforyou, from Pixabay