The world has been holding its breath, heartbroken since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on the 24th of February 2022, at 5am. Russia continues its eight-years-long war on Ukraine since 2014 at the very heart of Europe.
The population is sheltering in bunkers or underground metro stations, and tens of millions have fled the country to Poland, Romania or Moldova with the hope of protecting future generations, leaving behind fathers, brothers, sons, cousins, uncles and friends. Others have decided to stay or return to Ukraine to fight for what they collectively believe in: freedom and democracy.
But Ukrainians are not the only ones who stand for democracy, the cry for peace and freedom has been heard loud and clear from all over the world. Celebrities, civilians and companies all across the world support them and #StandWithUkraine, calling for Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, to be held to account and to stop this unnecessary war. Protests have broken out in Russia too. Thousands of Russians stand against Putin and against the war, and are demanding troops withdraw from Ukrainian territory.
Many have asked their families and friends in Ukraine how they can help, here’s what they say:
“Please, if you have friends, colleagues, acquaintances in Russia or Belarus, tell them what is happening in Ukraine. Tell them the truth they don’t know. Tell them that Ukraine has been attacked by Russia from all sides.
Please don’t argue, don’t respond to provocations, don’t prove anything, only the truth matters. We just want them to know what is really going on.
For this, you need direct access to the people of Russia and Belarus. Do not write messages on the internet, they do not get through. Only direct human-to-human messages can make a difference.
Information is power, and it’s in each of our hands.
We don’t want conflict, we don’t want debates and quarrels.
We only want one thing – peace. Peace for the whole world, peace for everyone. Peace for Ukraine.
And I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the support and help we are now receiving from all over the world.
A citizen, from Kyiv”.
After these messages, the world started a cry for peace for Ukraine, all over social media and in the streets.
Social media has been filled with signs of protest with the famous solid black square, while celebrities, and other public figures have been speaking out in opposition to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
“History has seen many Black Thursdays. But today is darker than the others,” Russia’s top ranked chess player, the chess grandmaster Yan Nepomniachtchi, wrote on Twitter.
“I stand with Ukraine,” the actor Ashton Kutcher, whose wife, the actress Mila Kunis, was born in the western Ukrainian city of Chernivtsi, wrote on Twitter.
Greta Thunberg is reminding us of the power that individuals have, from outside the Russian embassy in Sweden, in a gathering of support for Ukraine. “When enough people come together, then change will come and we can achieve almost anything. So instead of looking for hope, start creating it”.
The world is sharing its compassion and anger, and those who can are participating in the fundraising efforts of several associations, and by doing so also bringing more awareness to what is going on on the territory.
Madonna has been vocal on social media through a clip she created, comparing Putin to Hitler, and asking for the war to cease. “Russia’s pointless and greedy drive must be stopped!! Please send humanitarian aid to help the millions of citizens of Ukraine whose lives are being affected”.
The world of sports has also shown remarkable involvement, Chicago Fire FC goalkeeper Gaga Slonina shows support for Ukraine, “No place in the world for war. Families are the victims. Love and peace. We are with you Ukraine”, he says in a twitter post.
“War is hell.” We all agree, from the youngest to the oldest, from the weakest to the strongest, from the simplest to the most influential human being, and we all pray for one thing – for peace. We carry it in our hearts, in our minds, we say it out loud, everywhere around the world, in all languages the word that is echoing around us is PEACE.
“Please pray for peace, please send light” Amber Valletta, the American model and actress stated on her instagram account.
Hollywood stands with Ukraine as well, Lady Gaga, Brian Cox, Andrew Garfield and Michael Douglas showed their support at SAG Awards 2022.
“This is a beautiful night where we all get to celebrate art together and celebrate each other. There’s so much going on in the world and my heart goes out to Ukraine. I think tonight we should all really sit in the gratitude of this.” Lady Gaga.
Her remarks were echoed by the actor Michael Douglas, who sported a blue-and-yellow pocket square resembling the Ukrainian flag. “If ever there was a time for us to appreciate what true democracy is, I’m just so proud of what these people of this country have done”, he said.
Andrew Garfield also shared his thoughts on the invasion, he said “It’s a tricky day to celebrate. Keeping what’s happening in Ukraine in our hearts. It’s weird.”
Thousands join anti-war protests in Russia after Ukraine invasion, according to the Guardian, but will our cry for peace be heard?