I am shocked and angry about the news from Ukraine. Putin’s aggression is a horrific assault on democracy, freedom, human rights, and a sovereign, peaceful nation. It’s also emotional, not rational. He can’t erase history and recreate the USSR.
It’s heartening to see all the protests in Russia this week despite the threat of arrest. Nobody wants this war except Putin, and the young are furious – this is their future at stake. A defiant Zelensky’s not walking away either. Refusing to leave Kyiv with a request for additional ammunition instead. Ukraine’s military said this morning 3,500 Russian soldiers were killed in two days, 102 tanks and 14 planes destroyed – they’re putting up a fight despite much smaller military might 🦁
A Ukrainian woman telling Russian soldiers where to go – put sunflower seeds in your pocket because you will die here. A video showing an elderly man being pulled from his car alive after being deliberately crushed by a Russian tank – a miracle.
Putin shouldn’t underestimate the effect of soft power, either. Depriving Russians of things they need and love – sports, culture, entertainment, social media, and a sense of belonging in the world will lead to more riots and protests. Who wants isolation, insularity and to be cut off from the rest of the world? It’s not possible in the 21st century with technology and the internet, we’re interconnected more than ever.
Ukraine needs help and support from us – a collective, collaborative and fast response. I hope we see bigger sanctions from Europe and will write to my MP. This is a threat to us all – Putin won’t just stop at Ukraine.
It’s been a complicated conflict for eight years and can’t be fixed overnight, but war isn’t the answer. As Maya Angelou said, “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.” Most of us want the same things – family, love, peace, meaningful work, a home, travel, freedom.
There’s much talk about the ‘borderless world’ and it raises the importance of border research. Recent work talks about ‘reconceptualising borders’ and borderlands as sites of cultural interaction, exchange and hybridity with individuals from all backgrounds. A far more positive way to look at the world, and it’s where we’re heading with work and travel.
Praying for peace and an end to this asap 🙏
How to help people in Ukraine
Here’s a list of resources to stay informed and help Ukraine.
Live Universal Awareness Map (‘liveuamap’) – a global news site founded in 2014 by a team of software developers and journalists who wished to inform the world about the Ukrainian conflict.
The Kyiv Independent – English-language journalism in Ukraine. Become a patron: Patreon.com/KyivIndependent
The New Voice of Ukraine – An English-language site covering developments on the ground via local journalists.
Sign the open petition: War aggression against Ukraine: immediately exclude Russia from SWIFT.
Write to your MP. Lobby the UK government and encourage maximum sanctions. Here’s a letter you can use.
Make a donation
The National Bank of Ukraine has opened a special account to raise funds for Ukraine’s armed forces – open to multiple currencies.
Sunflower of Peace has started a fundraiser to prepare first aid medical tactical backpacks for paramedics and doctors on the frontline. Also works to empower orphans and displaced people.
Voices of Children – helping children affected by the war in eastern Ukraine – art therapy, psychology, storytelling and more.
British Red Cross has launched an emergency appeal for Ukraine – help someone affected with the basics: food, shelter, medicine, & first aid.
Book an Airbnb – not to stay, but to show solidarity. Airbnb has waived all host and guest fees in Ukraine. So far, bookings have grossed $2m in aid.
Grammarly Premium – an AI-software tool to improve your writing. I use this all the time – an excellent product created by a Ukrainian startup. An update from CEO Brad Hoover – they’re offering free access to Premium for non-profits and NGOs.