This Is What You Can Do To Help People In Ukraine Right Now

The people of Ukraine need our help - it's easy to feel powerless, but these are some of the ways you show support.

How to help Ukraine

by Lydia Spencer-Elliott |

If you've watched the news in a state of shock and horror over the last few weeks as Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine, here's our guide to all the ways you can help Ukraine and show your support for the Ukrainian people from here in the UK...

After vehemently denying his intentions to attack Ukraine, Russia’s Vladimir Putin launched a ‘special military operation’ in the Donbas region over two weeks ago. Ukrainian citizens were left in a state of shock as they were plunged into war with missile strikes and explosions near major cities.

‘President Putin has chosen a path of bloodshed and destruction by launching this unprovoked attack on Ukraine,’ Boris Johnson wrote of the situation on Twitter as the attack was launched. ‘The UK and our allies will respond decisively… This is a catastrophe for our continent.’

Although countries around the world, including the UK have imposed severe sanctions on Russia, and provided weapons, aid and diplomatic support to Ukraine, there is an undeniable feeling of disbelief, dread, and helplessness as millions of us watch tanks roll across the Ukranian border on TikTok or see footage of obliterated town centres on every mainstream news outlet.

So, for those of us wanting to help, we have researched calls to action from protest groups and reputable charities that want your help supporting the people of Ukraine in whatever small way we can during this horrifying eruption of violence.

Write to your MP

Never underestimate the power of the pen and putting pressure on politicians. While severe sanctions on Russia have been promised, public engagement with the issue will ensure officials follow through on making the restrictions as tough as they claim they will be.

To get you started, there's a draft letter (here) by the Association Of Ukrainians In Great Britain or from British Ukrainian Aid (here) which can be tailored and updated as the situation develops. The document allows you to insert the name and contact detail of your local MP (which you can find here) and, very importantly, add your own contact details and signature.

You can also ask the UK government to consider a full resettlement scheme for Ukrainian refugees, something it has so far declined to do, despite the UN Refugee Agency warning that up to five million Ukrainians could be displaced by this conflict.

Demonstrate at the Russian embassy

Hundreds of people demonstrated outside the Russian embassy in London on Wednesday night with signs that read: ‘Putin hands off Ukraine’ and ‘Ukraine will never surrender'. Organised by a woman called Natalia and promoted by the organisation Ukranian London, the protest was the first of many.

There will be daily protests in London this week on Monday to Friday at 6-8pm and on Saturday and Sunday at 2-6pm.

Marches will begin at either Trafalgar Square or at Number 10 Downing Street with the location confirmed each day on British Ukrainian Aid's Twitter and Facebook.

‘We didn’t sleep last night,’ Lawyer and member of the British Ukrainian Law Association Sergiy Burnus, who attended the protest on Thursday, told Grazia. ‘We came to protest against the Russian aggression, which is unprecedented and, I believe, the start of World War Three. It could be prevented—but the world didn’t do enough.

‘We’re trying to request more severe sanctions for Putin than those that were announced today or yesterday by the British government. They’re not targeting oligarchs or Russian money. Obviously, now Ukraine is under strike and cut off form the world there is no civilian connection. The airports are closed. The air space is closed. We need military support from the UK because…in a few days the Ukrainian military's resources will be exhausted.’

Educate yourself with reliable sources

Finding information about the Russian invasion can be overwhelming. But the Ukrainian Institute recommends reading The Kyiv Independent and The New Voice Of Ukraine for reliable and accurate reporting. They’ve also suggested following Ukranian based journalists including Olga Tokarjuk, Christopher Miller, Nika Melkozaerova and Illia Ponomarenko for further information.

While sharing footage of the war on social media can be helpful to raise awareness of the conflict, British Ukrainian Aid told Grazia they also urged supporters to look out for misinformation and report untrustworthy content to stop Kremlin propaganda.

Pressure the government for changes to VISA requirements

Currently, the UK still requires Ukrainians to hold a visa to enter the country and most nationals can only make an application to visit, work, study, or join family in the UK through one of the nearby countries.

New visa 'concessions' for Ukrainians made by Boris Johnson have been labelled 'shameful' by Labour's Yvette Cooper as, while close relatives of British nationals will be able to benefit even brothers or sisters might not. The UK visa application centre in Kyiv is currently closed.

To put pressure on the government to waive all entry requirements for Ukrainian refugees you can sign this Change.org petition and include the issue in your letter to your local MP.

Help Russian Protestors

Many Russian citizens are against Putin's aggression in Ukraine and have taken to the streets for anti-war protests. Threatening treason charges, the police arrested roughly 1,700 people in cities across the country after they took to the streets to demonstrate. But as opposition voices have continued to be utterly squashed many are concerned the backlash against Putin will be short lived.

Alexei Navalny, a prominent Russian opposition figure and anti-corruption activist was wrongly arrested two years ago and has since had his entire network of activists outlawed. Amnesty International have started a campaign to set him free for his own wellbeing and in the hope that the ill-treatment of government critics will stop. Sign here.

Shop For Clothes from Ukrainian Designers

Supporting businesses is a great way to help people in Ukraine and there are many designers who you'll want to shop from. For statement pieces head to J’amemme, for the perfect leather jacket browse Kulakovsky, for girlish glamour head to Marianna Senchina, for timeless classics try Lake Studio, and for strong shapes and tailored jackets head to GUDU.

How to donate money to help Ukraine from the UK: What charities should I donate to to help Ukrainians?

In this conflict, money matters. Thanks to previous public donations, Ukraine’s army is much better equipped than it was when Russia invaded in 2014. But supplies are still needed and contributing money to Kyiv-based charities will massively help those on the ground.

Army SOS

Amy SOS (here) will ensure Ukranian forces have the training, auxiliary equipment, specialised software, body protection, drones, food, shields and ammunition that they need during the conflict. You can also sign a petition for the UK to offer necessary military support here.

United Help Ukraine

United Help Ukraine are providing lifesaving first aid kits and other medical supplies to the front lines of the conflict. They’re also working with Ukraine’s emergency response organisations to prepare humanitarian aid to civilians that have been affected by Russia’s attack. Donate here.

Razom For Ukraine

Razom For Ukraine are raising money get essential goods to Ukraine. They’re also distributing funds to translate important documents and sources, get volunteers on the ground, share vital information, and fundraise for further emergency needs. Donate here.

Red Cross

Grazia is backing the Red Cross in its essential work in Ukraine, where water, electricity and phone connectivity have been affected in many areas. Red Cross volunteers are helping communities with first aid, warm clothes, food, shelter, water and power supplies, as well as supporting medical facilities. We've made a donation, and it's quick and easy for you to give whatever you can. ‘Donations to our appeal will help us to continue to support Red Cross teams to help people affected by this conflict,’ Luke Tredget, Head of Emergencies for the British Red Cross, told Grazia. ‘The situation is incredibly tense, dangerous and distressing’.

Just text GRAZIA to 70141 to give £10 or donate online at redcross.org.uk/grazia.

Charities in Ukraine that help children

As the conflict in Ukraine has intensified, there is now an imminent threat posed to approximately 7.5 million children. With bombs falling and infrastructures being badly damaged, children have been killed and injured. As swathes of families flee their country, they need urgent assistance funded by your donations.

Save The Children

'There are 7.5 million children in Ukraine caught up in this adult war,' Save The Children's Head Of Conflict James Denselow told Grazia. 'Children woke up in Ukraine this morning to air raid sirens, a declaration of martial law and the sounds of war.'

'Many were rushed to metro stations and other forms of shelter,' he continued. 'Tens of thousands of terrified children have already been forced from their homes into sub-zero wintery conditions. The risk to their mental health and potential for long-term trauma cannot be underestimated and they will desperately need our help in the weeks ahead.' Donate to provide emergency winter and hygiene kits and specialist support through Save The Children's emergency fund.

British-Ukrainian Aid

British-Ukrainian Aid is raising money to support victims of the conflict, including the injured and wounded, orphaned children, the elderly, internally displaced persons and families who have lost their breadwinners. Donate here.

UNICEF

Donations to UNICEF will ensure the charity can stay in Ukraine and deliver critical supplies like water, sanitation, emergency cash, schooling, and refuge to children and their families. UNICEF are also supporting mobile child protection teams who provide psychosocial care to traumatised children and are responding to cases of violence and abuse against children separated from their families. Donate here.

Donation collection points to donate to Ukraine: Where can I donate clothes for Ukrainian refugees near me?

Many organisations are now collecting clean clothes, bedding, sleeping bags, sanitary items and clean new shoes to give to the one million Ukrainian refugees who have fled violence in their home country to neighbouring nations like Slovakia or Poland.

But as many of these donation centres are small or independently run, it can often be tricky to locate the collections for Ukraine nearest to you. So, we’ve rounded up as many drop off points for Ukraine near various places in the UK and collection points around the country where you can donate essentials and clothes for Ukrainian refugees, which you can read here.

If collection centres aren't near you, you can also donate to the UNHCR who are sending blankets, sleeping mats, sleeping bags, baby kits, and the first delivery of core relief items to central Ukraine.

How to help refugees from Ukraine from the UK

The United Nations has warned that we are facing the 'biggest refugee crisis this century' as an estimated 4.2million people have now fled Ukraine. The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) is raising funds for refugees with their Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal, which you can donate to here.

DEC's appeal brings together thirteen of the UK's leading charities, including the ActionAid (here) and Red Cross (here) and will ensure that your money is quickly and efficiently disseminated to the DEC charities and their local partners to urgently help people displaced from their homes in Ukraine - or fleeing across the border into Poland, Romania, Hungary, Moldova and Slovakia.

How to host refugees from Ukraine here in the UK

As well as donating, you can sign up with Shelter For Ukraine (here) to offer to host a refugees in your spare room. Just click 'I can help' on their website and then fill in the form. Many other charities are expected to ask for volunteers as the crisis continues and we will update this information as developments unfold.

AirBnB have also been a force for good in helping Ukrainian refugees during the crisis as they’re donating up to 100,000 homes for Ukrainian refugees who have been forced to leave their homes behind.

To provide additional accommodation for refugees, you can support their campaign by donating money here, you can pay for an Airbnb in Ukraine (without actually staying there) as a way to provide financial assistance for owners during the war, or you can offer your own Airbnb as a safe place to stay by registering for the scheme here.

Other ways to donate money to Ukraine

Sunflower Of Peace

Sunflower Of Peace, a fundraising project created by Katya Malakhova, is gathering funds to prepare first aid medical backpacks for paramedics and doctors in Ukraine. As Malakhova wrote on the fundraising page: ‘Each backpack has the ability to save up to 10 lives: Ukrainian soldiers, civilians, volunteers, and children. These backpacks are designed for a second level of medical care in terms of combat action, according to the standards of tactical medicine (Tactical Combat Casualty Care), namely the level of paramedics, arrow-sanitary department.

The backpack's contents are specially designed to be used by highly skilled military combat groups - marines, special forces units and intelligence. These groups operate in areas without access to MedicalFacilities or Emergency Care. Therefore, it's crucial that each combat group have a soldier capable of acting as a medic on the spot.’ Donate here.

Revived Soldiers Of Ukraine

Revived Soldiers Of Ukraine provides medical aid to Ukrainian soldiers and their families, as well as civilians affected by living in a conflict zone. They have tirelessly helped hospitals treat wounded soldiers by supplying them with medical aid and supplies as well as promoting cooperation between the US and Ukraine. Donate here.

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