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How the world is supporting Ukraine

Ukrainians are deeply thankful for the unprecedented wave of support for our country from around the world. 

The whole world is demonstrating political solidarity, providing military equipment, humanitarian aid and imposing sanctions in an effort to limit Russia’s ability to finance and conduct its brutal war of aggression against the people of Ukraine.

Governments, international organizations, businesses, celebrities, and regular citizens from dozens of different countries stand strong with Ukraine in our fight for peace and freedom in Europe. The actions and statements of the global community have shown that there is no place in the civilized world for the barbaric and monstrous aggression that Russia is demonstrating now.

141 countries openly showed their solidarity with Ukraine on 2 March when the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a resolution demanding that Russia immediately end its military operations in Ukraine.

Citizens around the globe rise in support of Ukraine

Regular people in dozens of cities around the globe came out in protests and demonstrations, backing Ukraine in its struggle for peace and against the bloody Russian invasion. New York, Edinburgh, London, Paris, Berlin and many more cities made their voices heard for Ukraine’s freedom and independence. Citizens came out with Ukrainian flags and anti-war posters. City authorities lit up historical landmarks like the Colosseum in Rome, Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, the statue of Christ in Rio and others.

44 Russian cities also joined the protests as of March 6th, however, many were brutally shut down by Russian police and national guard with more than 2000 people arrested, including children and the elderly.

Journalists in every corner of the globe bravely covered Russia’s horrific actions and the heroism of Ukraine’s defenders, even traveling to our country in the midst of a war. Newsrooms of major channels stayed up at night to fight Russian disinformation.

Support from international businesses, NGOs and governments

Global and local businesses are also standing with Ukraine and following the lead of government sanctions by withdrawing their operations and severing trade ties with Russia. The aviation, finance, logistics, retail, IT and automotive industries, along with many others have made bold steps for peace in Europe. So far, Russia has chosen international isolation and further bloody aggression instead of peace.

38 countries (as of March 4th) have closed their airspace to Russian planes, pressuring the invading regime as a global community. This was done both in Europe and in North America. A country that rains down bombs and airstrikes on its peaceful neighbor has no place over the skies of civilized countries. Unfortunately, the Russian government continues to choose isolation, war and to inflict pain on its own citizens… instead of choosing peace.

On the cyber and informational front, hundreds of volunteers from the IT industry took up the task of battling Russian disinformation. The hacker organization Anonymous declared its own activist measures, shutting down Russian propagandist resources and government websites that support the war. Companies like Amazon and Google reinforced Ukraine’s cyber defenses against DDoS and other attacks.

Cultural sanctions and heritage

Artists and representatives of culture around the globe also voiced their support for Ukraine’s peace and independence: the Royal Opera House canceled the tour from Moscow-based Bolshoi Ballet, the Munich Philharmonic severed ties with chief conductor Valery Gergiev (close personal friend and supporter of Putin). Cultural sanctions were also imposed on Russia by the Metropolitan Opera, the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Festival de Cannes, Latvian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, European Film Academy, and many other organizations.

Dozens of historical landmarks have been shelled and ruined over the course of Russian aggression in Ukraine. The museum of world-famous Ukrainian painter Mariya Prymachenko was burned by occupying Russian forces. The Dormition Cathedral in Kharkiv was left untouched by Nazi troops during WW2 but was recently damaged by Russian airstrikes. The Kharkiv University was damaged by numerous missile strikes and fires. The list goes on.

Ukraine is home to 7 UNESCO world heritage sites, which are also currently under threat, as shelling of civilian objects in Ukraine by Russian aggressors continues. UNESCO has called for the protection of the country’s cultural heritage and a stop to Russian aggression.

Humanitarian and financial aid

Humanitarian and financial aid has been provided by numerous international agencies, NGOs, charity organizations, global companies and most of all – by regular people in countries from the U.S. to Lithuania and everywhere in between. An overwhelming wave of support in the form of donations, humanitarian goods and social media coverage from our friends abroad still helps Ukrainians hold on in this dark hour.

Medical and military volunteers lent their invaluable experience to both ease the suffering of the injured and wounded, and also to stop the invaders and prevent even further bloodshed. Thousands of volunteer applications were sent by foreign medics and more than 20,000 – by foreign combat volunteers.

IT specialists, translators, designers and other professionals also joined the fray to combat Russian propaganda and lift Ukraine’s spirits.

Ukrainian refugees, women, children and elderly people, escaping from merciless shelling by Russian artillery have been accepted by neighboring European countries. Unprecedented support has been shown by our European partners in the form of simplified entry procedures, local humanitarian support, help from NGOs and volunteers and much more. For this, Ukrainians will forever be grateful.

International sanctions

World governments and international organizations have rallied alongside Ukraine to condemn and combat Russian aggression. The U.S. and its allies have imposed harsh sanctions against the Russian banking sector, state enterprises and banned the import of high-tech goods that could be used to fuel Russia’s war in Ukraine. Many Russian banks were cut off from the SWIFT payment system. 

Individual sanctions were imposed against elites and oligarchs close to Putin’s regime. The international community keeps mobilizing further in support of this cause, with the latest additions (as of March 5th) being Switzerland and Singapore.

A lot has been done but we need to do more – together 

Support for Ukraine has been strong but more is needed to prevent the deaths of even more innocent Ukrainians and to safeguard peace for the whole European continent. 

Russian forces are still unrelentingly shelling residential districts, private homes, hospitals and schools. As of March 7th, they have destroyed or damaged over 200 schools and kindergartens, 1500 residential buildings, more than 30 hospitals and left 900 communities without electricity, water or heating. As of March 8th, the UN Human Rights High Commissioner estimated civilian losses at 1355 people. These numbers are growing by the hour, spiraling into a horrific humanitarian disaster. Ukrainian media is flooded with heartbreaking reports of dead families and children. The aggressors are showing no signs of stopping and showing no mercy to regular citizens, specifically targeting civilian areas in a campaign of terror. 

We ask the global community to:

1. Increase sanctions to pressure the Kremlin. Russia and Belarus still have access to foreign goods which are used for maintaining military forces. The democratic world should ban all exports of goods and services to Russia and Belarus. 

2. Stop the spread of Russian propaganda. While Russia blocks its own independent media sources, the democratic world should restrict Russia’s propagandist media which continues to deliberately broadcast fake information and the ‘Russian version’ of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

3. Close all remaining airspace. 38 (out of 193) countries have closed their airspace to Russian aircraft. But Russians can still fly to a great many other countries that have not closed their airspace yet. Prohibit Russians from using your airlines!

4. Deal with Russian banks SWIFTly. Although seven of Russia’s biggest banks have been cut off from SWIFT, dozens of smaller ones still operate normally. These have the potential to evade sanctions and finance the war. The situation must be dealt with  as soon as possible.

5. Stop buying Russian oil and gas. Every day Europe pays over 600 million EUR to Russia for its oil and gas. This money is used to finance war crimes.

6. End Russian tourism. The Kremlin Russian regime drowns Ukraine in blood while Russians prepare for their usual vacation season abroad. This creates the impression of “business as usual” for the Russian population, leaving Putin to manipulate his own people using propagandist media. 

7. Make Russia feel the cost of war. Russians are still trying to escape abroad instead of standing up against the Kremlin regime. The democratic world should stop issuing visas to Russian citizens as long as Russian aggression continues.

8. Ban all international trade with Russia and Belarus. Ban exports to Russia of chemical products, agricultural seed stock, food and beverages, pharma, apparel, electronics, spare parts, machine-building, cars and cosmetics. 

What can I do, as an individual? Lobby your representative and urge them to support Ukraine in these key areas.

Every Ukrainian is thankful for your solidarity and continued support in our hour of need! The victory of justice and freedom over tyranny and violence is only possible if we stand together!