The Ukraine crisis has become one of the most prevalent topics in global politics over the course of these past few weeks.
At exactly 5:07 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 24, Russia officially launched its invasion of Ukraine. Residents of Ukraine reported missile attacks and explosions as Russian forces rushed into the country by land, air and sea. Russian troops continue to move towards Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. Citizens have been forced into bunkers, basements, and underground railway stations. Metro stations around the city have become a shelter for families and children. “It just happened. We were not preparing to flee … Nobody believed that this war would start and that they would take Kyiv directly.” one sheltering citizen told ABC News.
Even though it was unexpected for the citizens, the Ukrainian government had been anticipating a war since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea. For years, government workers have been modifying shelters that were built for the Cold War in hopes of protecting its country's citizens as well as possible. Many shelters are being used for hiding places, while others are being used for war preparation. A school in Lviv, a city in Western Ukraine, has turned its basement into a shooting range.
“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering.” President Joe Biden said in a statement after the invasions began. Only hours after the invasion, massive amounts of casualties had been reported on both sides.
Thanks to social media and massive news coverage, people of the world have been watching Ukraine struggle and feel desperate to help. Major organizations have begun actively working to provide food, shelter, medical supplies and support to affected citizens.
Here are a few ways you can help Ukraine right now:
United Help Ukraine is an American nonprofit organization that distributes food, medical supplies, and other donations to Ukrainian refugees and those actively in Ukraine. Any donations will help provide emergency medical aid and humanitarian relief to Ukrainian citizens.
USA for UNHCR is an organization that aims to help and protect refugees and people displaced by violence, conflict and persecution. The organization is currently accepting donations via restricted funds to provide aid to women, children and men in Ukraine.
Voices of Children is an Ukraine-based organization that works to provide psychological support to Ukrainian children impacted by conflict, especially to those who have witnessed war.
Nova Ukraine is an American-based nonprofit that is currently working with organizations and activists to offer aid to vulnerable groups and individuals. It works closely with Ukraine-based organizations and is assembling supply packages that include dry foods, hospital supplies, baby food and more.
UNICEF, also known as the United Nations Children’s Fund, is a United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian aid to children worldwide. The organization is leading the humanitarian response in Ukraine. UNICEF is seeking $66.4 million to provide access to essential services, such as health, education and protection.