In the weeks since Russian president Vladimir Putin declared war on Ukraine, circumstances on the ground have become increasingly dire. Destruction and air-raid sirens are now a part of daily life in much of the country. Many Ukrainians are using subway stations as bomb shelters, and civilians have been rushing to evacuate to other countries. Over 4 million Ukrainian refugees have already fled, with many walking miles to get to neighboring borders. Meanwhile, Black and brown people trying to flee Ukraine are having an even harder time getting out, owing to racism and violence that has left them stranded and even turned back at borders, while transphobia and other discriminatory practices bar transgender Ukrainians from leaving. Refugees are struggling with food shortages, and so are many Ukrainians remaining in and around Kyiv, where food deliveries have become impossible due to security enclosures.
The war — which has a lot to do with Putin’s colonial desire to restore a Soviet Union empire and his general distaste for Ukrainian democracy— is a conflict not even Russian citizens seem to want. The invasion has sparked international sanctions and condemnation, with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other world leaders accusing Putin of committing war crimes. On the ground, Ukrainian civilians are taking up arms, and many citizens who live abroad are returning to fight. Still, what comes next remains uncertain. Experts are speculating that Putin’s aggression won’t stop until he has installed a new leader in Ukraine who’s submissive to Russia. Already over a thousand Ukrainian soldiers and at least 1,179 civilians (and likely many more) have been killed in the conflict, including children.
Here, some ways to help Ukrainian citizens, including recommendations from journalists on the ground in Ukraine:
If you want to donate medical supplies
Razom for Ukraine: Razom, meaning “together” in Ukrainian, is a volunteer charity organization that was originally founded in 2014 to support Ukrainians after Russia annexed Crimea.
Fundraiser for Sunflower of Peace: Sunflower of Peace’s fundraiser aims to provide first-aid backpacks to paramedics and doctors on the front lines. Each backpack contains enough tactical first-aid supplies for five to ten people.
Revived Soldiers Ukraine: This nonprofit provides medical aid to Ukrainian soldiers and provides support to their families.
Medical Teams International: This humanitarian aid agency is deploying a team to Ukraine and working with partners to deliver critical medical supplies to those on the ground.
Heart to Heart International: This global humanitarian organization is donating $20 million worth of medical supplies to Ukrainian refugees in Warsaw, Poland, as well as hygiene kits.
Direct Relief: This organization has partnered with Ukraine’s Ministry of Health to provide emergency medical aid to citizens still in the country, as well as to recent refugees.
To help children affected by the war
Voices of Children: This organization helps provide psychological and psychosocial support to Ukrainian children affected by armed conflict.
Save the Children: Based in the U.K., Save the Children has created a Ukraine crisis-relief fund that’s getting food, water, hygiene kits, cash, and psychosocial support to children and families.
ChildFund International: Founded in 1983, ChildFund offers international financial support to children in need. Donate to its German organization, ChildFund Deutschland, which is providing emergency-aid kits to children and families in Ukraine.
MANNA Worldwide: This U.S-based nonprofit supports child development in impoverished communities domestically and internationally. Its Ukraine fund supports Ukrainian families trying to flee to safety.
International Rescue Committee: The IRC is on the ground in Poland, helping children and families who have fled from Ukraine.
SOS Children’s Villages: This international nonprofit has worked in Ukraine since 2003 and is currently raising funds for internally displaced children and their families.
To support journalists in Ukraine
Keep Ukraine’s Media Going: Donations to this GoFundMe will help Ukrainian media outlets relocate to other countries and set up offices there.
To support refugees
Global Empowerment Mission: In conjunction with BStrong, this organization is running a welcome center at the Poland-Ukraine border. It’s using its funds to facilitate the influx of refugees to Poland, paying for flights and trains to relocate anyone who can’t find housing in Poland.
Humanity & Inclusion: This global organization supports individuals and refugees from conflict-stricken areas, especially those with physical injuries and disabilities and the elderly. Its Ukraine appeal fund will help deliver emergency aid to refugees displaced by the conflict.
Team Rubicon: This NGO specializes in disaster response and has sent a team of physicians to Poland to help refugees, especially children, women, disabled persons, and LGBTQIA+ individuals. Donate here to support its efforts.
CORE: Community Organized Relief Effort provides immediate aid and recovery to international underserved communities. Donate to its relief effort for Ukrainian refugees in Poland. The money will go toward cash disbursements, hygiene supplies, and COVID-19 tests.
Hungarian Helsinki Committee: This human-rights organization provides free legal assistance to Ukrainian asylum seekers.
Association for Legal Intervention: Since 2005, this Poland-based NGO has provided migrants and refugees with pro bono legal aid. Donate to its Ukraine fund to support refugees seeking legal assistance.
Plan International: Donate to its Ukraine humanitarian fund to support families who have fled to Poland, Moldova, and Romania.
To support BIPOC and LGBTIQ+ refugees
The Coalition to Support Black People in Ukraine: This fundraiser aims to help Black people facing racism and being turned back as they try to flee the country. Funds will go toward paying relocation fees and connecting Black refugees with their families, as well as food and other practical supplies.
Black Women for Black Lives: Through its #BlackinUkraine initiative, this organization is raising money to help Black refugees leave Ukraine, especially students.
Fundacja Ocalenie: This immigrant-focused organization is raising money for African and Indian students fleeing Ukraine.
QUA: QUA-LGBTQ is an organization connecting LGBTQ Ukrainians LGBTQ with allies in the United States. Your donations will go toward emergency support for the Ukrainian LGBTQ community in conflict-stricken areas.
Urgent Action Fund For Women’s Human Rights: Donations to this organization’s Ukraine Response Fund will support women, trans, and nonbinary activists in Ukraine and surrounding countries.
Additional ways to help
• Donate to Nova Ukraine’s Heart2Heart initiative, which assembles care packages for people in Ukraine.
• Donate to the International Committee of the Red Cross, which will provide humanitarian relief to Ukrainians affected by the conflict.
• Donate to CARE’s Ukraine Crisis Fund, which aims to provide food, water, hygiene kits, and more to Ukrainians, especially women and girls.
• Donate to International Medical Corps, which will deploy mobile medical teams to provide emergency and primary health services, including psychosocial services, to conflict-affected Ukrainian communities.
• Donate to GlobalGiving’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund, which funnels funds to humanitarian support in Ukraine, including shelter, food, and clean water for refugees.
• Donate to Mercy Corps, a global humanitarian group whose Humanitarian Response Fund is sending emergency cash and supplies to people throughout Ukraine.
• Donate to People in Need, a Czech group that responds to an emergency help line by sending trucks loaded with nonperishable food, hygiene products, sleeping bags, and other items to any location that requests aid. PIN is also setting up sites at the border to help refugees cross safely.
• Donate to World Central Kitchen, which is working to serve fresh meals to Ukrainian refugees, as well as Ukrainians remaining in the country.
• Donate to International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), which is raising money to aid shelter staff and animals in disaster zones.
• Donate to the Kyiv School of Economics, which is raising money to provide first-aid kits, bulletproof vests, and helmets to Ukrainians on the ground.
• Donate to United Way Worldwide’s United for Ukraine fund, which will go toward providing shelter, food, transportation, and baby formula to those in conflict zones.
• Donate to Vostok-SOS to support victims of military aggression.
• Donate to Liberico’s Ukraine fundraiser to support emergency aid to those in immediate danger zones.
• Donate to Fight for Right, which supports Ukrainians with disabilities who are on the ground or trying to evacuate.
• Donate to Malteser International, which is working to supply food, water, and medicine to Ukrainians facing supply shortages.
• Donate to Ukrainian Women’s Fund to help provide essentials for women and girls afflicted by war.
• Donate to Lutheran World Relief to help provide emergency supplies to clinics and civilians on the ground.
• Support Ukraine Take Shelter, an independent platform connecting refugees with potential hosts and housing.
• Donate to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Recovery Fund, which supplies refugees and internally displaced people with emergency essentials.
This post has been updated.