Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday 24 February, and the images and stories emerging from the attack are harrowing.
The United Nations' refugee agency estimates that nearly half a million people have already fled Ukraine to neighbouring countries, with more than 100,000 people still displaced within the country.
The Ukrainian foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, described the “horrific rocket strikes” on Kyiv, tweeting: “Last time our capital experienced anything like this was in 1941 when it was attacked by Nazi Germany.”
In the face of such senseless violence, it can be easy to feel hopeless and powerless – but if you’re wondering how you could help people in Ukraine, there might be some ways.
These are a few ways you can help from home.
Donate clothes and items locally
Donation points are being set up locally across the UK to help collect items for new arrivals moving from Ukraine to other nations.
According to reports, Leeds Polish Catholic Centre in West Yorkshire collected items such as blankets, clothes, toilet rolls, nappies and toothbrushes over the weekend while the White Eagle Club in south west London also received goods for refugees.
Volunteers are also needed to help sort through the items and pack them up to send them overseas.
Check your local news outlets and social media to see if donation points have been set up in your area.
They are often being established by Ukrainian and Polish community groups and churches in different towns and cities.
Donate to relevant charities
If you’re able to afford it, donating money to various charities will go a long way to supporting those on the ground.
UNICEF executive director Catherine M. Russell said in a statement: “UNICEF is working across eastern Ukraine to scale up life-saving programmes for children.
“This includes trucking safe water to conflict-affected areas; prepositioning health, hygiene and emergency education supplies as close as possible to communities near the line of contact; and working with municipalities to ensure there is immediate help for children and families in need. UNICEF-supported mobile teams are also providing psychosocial care to children traumatised by the chronic insecurity.”
High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said the UN Refugee Agency is “working with the authorities, UN and other partners in Ukraine and is ready to provide humanitarian assistance wherever necessary and possible”.
Sunflower Of Peace is a local charity gathering medical supplies for paramedics and doctors on the front lines.
The British Red Cross has launched an urgent appeal to help Ukraine.
Finally, head to United Help Ukraine (unitedhelpukraine.org) to support a charity focused on providing humanitarian aid to those in need, as well as raising awareness of the conflict.
Write to your MP
Writing a letter to your local MP can help put pressure on the government to act.
This could be encouraging Boris Johnson’s administration to put harsher sanctions on Russia, or even lead the world’s humanitarian response to what’s happened.
In a joint open letter to The Times, charities including Amnesty International and the Refugee Council wrote: “A generation ago, the UK saved the lives of thousands of families from the Balkans through an evacuation and resettlement programme.
“The government should now respond with a well-resourced initiative working with councils across the country, to welcome Ukrainians who need sanctuary.”
Support local journalism
The fact we’re so up to date with what’s happening in Ukraine is largely down to the tireless work of journalists reporting on the ground.
To help them continue this crucial work, follow the news from local sources such as The Kyiv Independent (kyivindependent.com – you can also donate on its website) and The New Voice of Ukraine (english.nv.ua).
Educating yourself on the history and nuances of the crisis from respected sources before speaking about it online will help tackle disinformation.
Join a peace protest
This might not seem as direct a way to help Ukrainians as, for example, donating money – but it could still have a big impact.
Joining a peace protest is a public way of showing your support for the people of Ukraine, and putting pressure on those in powerful positions to help those affected.
Additional copy from PA
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