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War in Ukraine: One year on

On 24th February 2022, Russia launched a military invasion of Ukraine and initiated the largest armed conflict in Europe since the Second World War. One year on, we explore the impact on Ukraine and its people...

War in Ukraine: One year on

One year anniversary of the war in Ukraine

On 24th February 2022, Russia launched a military invasion of Ukraine and initiated the largest armed conflict in Europe since the Second World War. One year on, we explore the impact on Ukraine and its people.

We know the consequences of this terrible conflict far exceed the scope of this blog post. But, one year on from the Russian invasion, we want to acknowledge this time point and reflect on the situation in our country. Read on to find out more…

A different world

Russia’s invasion of Kyiv last February altered Ukraine instantly and changed the world we all live in. The attack was unprovoked and profoundly shocking, resulting in the deaths of thousands of people in Ukraine and the exile of more than 8 million Ukrainians to date, according to UNHCR data. Europe’s long-held foundations of peace were suddenly fragile.

For Ukrainians, this war unleashed a whole host of disruptions socially and economically. And this extends far beyond our country’s borders. Families are divided and displaced. Some Ukrainians vowed to remain in their country, while others left everything and moved, as refugees, to Europe and elsewhere. Since the war began, it’s estimated that around 20% of Ukrainians have left their homeland.

Economic disruption

Firstly, this war has resulted in immense economic disruption, both in Ukraine itself and the wider global economy. Experts describe the economic impact as a ‘ripple effect’, affecting supply chains, impeding the transport of goods, leading to rising costs and product shortages and resulting in food shortages around the world.

For people living in Ukraine, the economic issues often seem insurmountable. Many have lost their homes and livelihoods. They’re also impacted by food and product shortages, rising costs, fuel shortages and electrical blackouts. 

Vulnerable are hit hardest

Secondly, the most vulnerable in Ukrainian society bear the brunt of these social and economic problems – single parents, children, elderly people and those with health issues. Daily life is a struggle for many. 

Ukrainian refugees face the challenge of adapting and settling in new countries, integrating with local communities and finding employment and housing. 

Our charitable fund assists Ukraine’s people directly. We help the most vulnerable people to rebuild their lives and overcome their struggles. We focus on providing basic necessities including food, shelter, medical supplies, education and psychological support for those who need it most. 

Psychological impact of the war in Ukraine

Additionally, at this one-year milestone, we cannot overstate the mental toll of this war. It has profoundly impacted Ukrainians’ mental wellbeing. We live with the stress and anxiety caused by this conflict every day. 

The war in Ukraine is taking a psychological toll on our people. We are experiencing trauma, bereavement, separation, loss of identity and much more. This impact is ongoing and vulnerable people desperately need support and financial aid to help them cope.

Looking to the future

However, Ukrainians are determined to move through this unjust war and thrive again. We have fought bravely and endured against all odds. We also know we are supported by global friends who want to help us in any way they can. 

Politically, we are backed by Western allies. Global leaders have visited Ukraine, most recently United States President Joe Biden who made a surprise visit to Kyiv this week. Many Western countries have pledged their economic and social support, financing military aid and opening their borders to Ukrainian refugees. Countries have also pulled together to implement economic sanctions against Russia. 

Ukraine faces ongoing challenges, but one year on from the Russian invasion there’s a feeling of solidarity and hope. We haven’t been beaten and we’ve maintained a position of strength. Volodymyr Zelensky provides steadfast leadership and remains determined to defend Ukraine and tighten global alliances. We know we’re not alone in this fight. 

An article in the Guardian newspaper reflects on the war in Ukraine at this one year anniversary.  It comments, “The fact that the sovereign, democratic nation of Ukraine has survived unbowed and unconquered, is possibly the most remarkable outcome of the war so far.” 

Nonetheless, this commentary also cautions that “the war is far from over and may be entering an even more dangerous phase”. Russia’s spring offensive is expected and President Zelensky requested urgent arms deliveries and further sanctions from Western supporters during a recent video address to world leaders.

How can you help Ukraine?

One year on, we need your help more than ever. We urgently need to maintain the momentum of global support for Ukraine. This begins with individuals and corporate partners. Our charitable foundation has a mission to directly help vulnerable people in Ukraine. We are here, on the ground, to provide support and assistance for those who need it most, whether it’s food, shelter, medical aid or a listening ear. 

In a previous blog post we outline a number of suggestions of impactful ways you can help Ukraine to thrive again. You can donate directly on our website or offer your services as a volunteer, either in Ukraine or remotely. We also need support from corporate partners. Every donation – no matter how small – is greatly appreciated.

What are your thoughts on the war in Ukraine one year on from the initial invasion? Please feel free to share your views in the comments below. 

Thank you for walking with us during this past year. Please help us spread the word about our charitable fund. 

Best wishes

Team D&S Ukraine

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