As the crisis in Ukraine continues to unfold, the world is watching on in horror. Last week, Russia invaded Ukraine after mounting tensions escalated, which not only threatens to destabilise Europe, but could also implicate multiple world nations due to the NATO agreement. Despite diplomatic efforts to resolve the argument civilly, Russia has made the decision to tighten its military grip on Ukraine in an attempt to take control of the area.
World leaders have been quick to condemn the actions of Putin, calling it everything from a ‘grave breach of international law’ to a ‘serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security.’ Both the United States and the United Kingdom have initiated sanctions against Russia in an attempt to hold them accountable, while Australia has provided both cyber security aid and most recently, weapons.
Below, which charities you can donate to and the celebrities who have already shown their support.
How can Australians help?
It seems impossible, but there are a number of ways Australians can help the people of Ukraine, including by supporting local and international charities.
To help children
- Voices of Children – this charity aims to help children affected by the war by providing support through psychologists, video storytelling and art therapy.
To provide medical and essential supplies
- United Help Ukraine – this helps provide medical supplies and humanitarian aid, as well as raising awareness of the conflict
- Sunflower of Peace — providing assistance to paramedics and doctors on the ground, as well as mobilize support and aid for Ukrainian orphans and internally displaced people.
- Red Cross — the International Committee of the Red Cross delivers urgent assistance (food, fuel for heating, medical supplies, and support for housing) to people in Ukraine living close to the line of contact.
To provide mental health care
- Vostok-SOS – this charity provides assistance to victims of war in both Ukraine and Crimea, finding shelter and delivering psychological first aid.
Which celebrities have shown their support?
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds
Blake and Ryan have pledged to match donations up to $1 million to help refugees who had to flee their homes amidst the crisis.
“In 48 hours, countless Ukrainians were forced to flee their homes to neighboring countries. They need protection. When you donate, we’ll match it up to $1,000,000, creating double the support,” Reynolds wrote Saturday on Twitter in promoting donations to the United Nations refugee agency.
Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher
Ashton has shown his support for Mila’s native country amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. The actor tweeted ‘I stand with Ukraine’ before retweeting an image of the Ukranian flag. Kunis lived in Ukraine until the age of 7, explaining that her parents moved their family to the US for a better life.
“It was very communist, and my parents wanted my brother and me to have a future, and so they just dropped everything,” she told the Los Angeles Times in 2008.
Angelina shared that she is “praying for the people in Ukraine” amid the Russian attacks.
In a statement on Instagram Thursday, the actress — who also serves as Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) — said that her “focus along with my @refugees colleagues is that everything possible is done to ensure the protection and basic human rights of those displaced, and refugees in the region.”
“We have already seen reports of casualties and people starting to flee their homes to seek safety,” said Jolie, 46. “It is too soon to know what will happen, but the significance of this moment — for the people of Ukraine, and for the international rule of law — cannot be overstated.”
Bethenny Frankel’s organisation, BStrong is “in motion to ship 100,000 hygiene kits, #Bstrong survival kits, blankets, generators, sleeping bags to Ukraine’s NATO boarding countries,” the reality star said in an Instagram post. “This initial commitment of supplies will exceed $10M. Our teams will be on the ground in Rzeszów, Poland Friday to set up base camps for refugee operations with our Polish and Ukrainian partners. We’re also working with military professionals, former Green Berets, and airlifting shipping boxes today.”
Sean is in Ukraine right now documenting the crisis as it unfolds. Per a translated statement from the Office of the President of Ukraine (which was obtained by Newsweek), “The director specially came to Kyiv to record all the events that are currently happening in Ukraine and to tell the world the truth about Russia’s invasion of our country,” the statement’s translation reads. ‘Sean Penn is among those who support Ukraine in Ukraine today. Our country is grateful to him for such a show of courage and honesty.'”