War in Ukraine at One Year–How the country has changed

‍On February 24th, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine to overthrow the pro-Western Volodymyr Zelensky administration. After intense warfare and over 18 thousand casualties, Ukraine's war accelerates at its one-year mark. 

Kee'nan Haggen
February 22, 2023

Over the past year, Russian forces have targeted civilian sites, including historical buildings, houses, apartments, shopping centers, and hospitals. City blocks look unrecognizable, as many areas are down to rubble.

Chernihiv is home to many centuries-old churches dating back to the 11th century bringing peace to the city that is now under siege. Irpin, a once well-to-do suburb of Kyiv filled with families cycling around its neighborhoods, is gone. Daily routines of commuting to work and hanging out with friends and family on weekends were replaced with the nightmarish horrors of war zones.

Kharkiv, Ukraine: 8 March 2022 - Destroyed after shelling by the Russian military occupiers of a residential building in a residential area of Kharkiv — Photo by Fotoreserg

Millions have evacuated their homes for safety, leaving many displaced and separated from their families. Refugees have crossed Poland, Romania, Moldova, and neighboring countries. Some have journeyed on foot below temperatures to seek refuge in need of protection and aid this past winter season.

Over 8 million refugees have been registered across Europe, with approximately 1.6 million refugees reportedly fleeing to Poland in January and more than one million to Germany since November. 

Russian drone and missile strikes have caused damage to nearly half the country's electrical grid. The rampant infrastructure attacks have destroyed energy and water supply systems, leaving children, families, and the elderly without heating, hot water, or electricity. This has prevented civilians from accessing education, healthcare, and food while forcing them to endure freezing conditions in their homes and shelters.

People with disabilities, older people, and those of lower income face additional pressure due to the power cuts. Over 660 thousand generators were imported to Ukraine, with its peaking height in December as temperatures first began to drop. Ukraine's power system cannot be fixed quickly, and repairs will need many resources to renew from damage.

The lack of electricity has taken a toll on educational services that are now immune to the new reality of conflict and disruption. Many children cannot attend school due to inaccessible power interrupting online class sessions–causing families to rely on generators–even having to work by candlelight.

Ukraine is experiencing a depopulation crisis. Aside from migration, the war has led to disproportionate mortality rates. Innocent civilians have been killed through weapons and sporadic bombings throughout the country. Also, many living is weak through heightened stress levels, depleted mental health, inaccessible medical care, and lack of proper nutrition.

How to Help and Support

SUPPORT UKRAINE WITH US has developed a personalized approach to support the needs of Ukraine's most vulnerable individuals and organizations. We are a San Francisco-based 501(c)(3) non-profit working to deliver food, medicine, and other supplies to each individual or entity to specify the needs and provide the required aid. We offer alternative ways to invest your time if you are not local to the Chernikiv and Kharkiv regions but want to donate resources abroad. 

Some of our projects include our roster of volunteers purchasing medicine from Poland and Germany and delivering it to Ukraine. Other projects involve donating food to families and feeding displaced pets and animals across various regions.

DONATE today to support our mission of helping the most vulnerable families, elderly, and pets in Ukraine. Follow our Instagram and Facebook for more information on our ongoing projects and efforts.

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