Since Russia invaded Ukraine last Thursday and Vladimir Putin declared war, the world has been shaken, left feeling helpless and useless. In the millions of daily social media posts calling to activism and photos capturing the everyday tragedy of Ukrainian citizens circling online, thousands calling to action, it’s easy to lose track of accurate information, learn what is important and also feel utterly overwhelmed. In the face of an event like this, it’s natural to feel powerless, but still want to find a way to help, which is why we’ve compiled a short guide of the best ways to help, no matter your financial situation.
As a platform focused on supporting and platforming creatives since day one, we want to amplify the voices of Ukrainian artists, independent media, as well as the LGBTQ+ and marginalised communities. Whilst their shouts should be the loudest and most heard, they’re often silenced as a priority. We want to give a spotlight to and spread the message of the unheard. We’ve been shouting into Instagram’s echo chambers for too long, it’s time to take the action offline too.
Russia is infamous for its homophobic laws and prosecuting LGBTQ+ people therefore if the occupation will continue, the threat to the community in Ukraine is very real. Aware of the danger, Ukrainian queer citizens and allies are organizing resources to defend themselves against the oppressor. You can help to donate straight to Ukraine Pride or Kyiv Pride, get in contact with the LGBTIQ Military who are in urgent need of equipment. International charity OutRight, fighting for queer people’s rights, also encourages donations.
It’s needless to say that in times of worry, we tend to reach for empowerment or escape in art more than ever. Today, it’s the time to give back to those whose work carried us through the worst. A Ukrainian community-based event and talent platform, Drift Kyiv is organizing a fundraiser. Showing international support, Stockholm-based label Northern Electronics made a compilation from which all the profits will go directly to UNICEF Ukraine. The most efficient way is reaching out to the artists directly, engaging with their work and buying the art. You can find a list of Ukrainian musicians here and explore new releases here.
They are several charities that have been working on organizing funds for Ukrainian citizens. People in Need are providing humanitarian aid, Razom for Ukraine working towards connecting people and creating a better future for their country despite harsh conditions, United Help Ukraine is dedicated to spreading awareness of the ongoing war and distributing donations, food and medicine among refugees and any Ukrainians affected. As children are one of the most vulnerable groups, you can additionally donate to Voices For Children or Save the Children. Go online and find local donation points where you can leave anything urgently needed. Visit the website of your favourite spots and check if they’re organizing a fundraiser that you could contribute to or volunteer.
With endless posts on social media, it’s important to prioritise the direct voices of Ukrainian journalists, who are the most credible and informed sources out there, who need to be heard. Educate yourself and spread the truth. Publications you can visit are Kyiv Independent or Ukraine World, and anyone wanting to stay futher informed can visit the Ukrainian journalists’ Twitter thread and follow Kyiv-based correspondent Olga Tokariuk.
Be resilient in what you do and don’t let it be a one-day affair. The help that counts the most is a continuous one. Of course, if you feel it’s beginning to affect your mental health, it’s important to take a break: if you won’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to help anyone else. Whenever you’ve got strength and energy to contribute, as well as the financial means to donate, please do. There’s power in community: we all live on the planet Earth and as long as it’s true, we’ll always have something in common.