UKRAINIAN WORLD CONGRESS

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#STANDWITHUKRAINE – Communities worldwide in support of the Ukrainian people

#UWC news
March 23,2022 141
#STANDWITHUKRAINE – Communities worldwide in support of the Ukrainian people

From the first days of the Russian invasion, Ukrainian communities around the world have continued their initiatives in support of Ukraine. In addition to weekly gatherings and peaceful demonstrations, Ukrainians are preparing humanitarian aid and working to support refugees.

In response to the call of the Ukrainian World Congress, numerous organizations and communities have appealed to their governments, NATO member countries. The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) wrote to President Biden urging support for Ukraine, and letters to high-ranking officials were sent by Ukrainians in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Croatia, Northern Macedonia, and other NATO member countries.

GERMANY

The entire Ukrainian community in Germany is actively working to support Ukraine, particularly in Thueringen where there is a Community of Ukrainians. To collect and deliver necessary humanitarian aid the community cooperates with local business, state institutions and civil society. Three ambulances that, with the financial assistance of Ukrainians, were outfitted with electric wheelchairs, medication, and surgical equipment, are already saving victims in Kyiv. Also on their way to Ukraine are thermal underwear for defenders valued at 40,000 euros. Work continues to purchase another series of vehicles for Kyiv’s Territorial Defence Force. On the appeal of the Community, one of the surgical supply companies based in Eisenach donated 80 bone fusion machines for surgical teams in Kyiv. In addition, the Community of Ukrainians in Thueringen collects and transports to Ukraine foodstuffs, specifically flour and sugar. A Ukrainian information counter has been established in a shopping centre in Erfurt to help arriving Ukrainians.

SLOVAKIA

The Union of Rusyn-Ukrainians of the Slovak Republic and the Ukrainian community it unites have focused all their efforts to support Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression and to help Ukrainians fleeing from their land shattered by war. As the number of refugees continues to grow, the Ukrainian community in the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in Prešov opened a “Refugee Assistance Centre” that coordinates issues related to laws, employment, language, food, clothing, medical assistance, housing, etc. Slovak language courses were recently started for refugees, along with legal aid. Since the start of the war in Ukraine Ukrainians throughout Slovakia have been actively collecting humanitarian aid, including food, clothing, medical supplies, and sending them to Ukraine, to the largest refugee centre in Michalovce and to border crossing points between Slovakia and Ukraine – Uzhhorod, Ublia, Mali Selmentsi. On these and other issues the community works closely with the Slovak government and Embassy of Ukraine, particularly in providing Ukrainian defenders with non-lethal defensive weapons, military food rations, etc.

ITALY

Humanitarian aid for Ukraine is the focus for Ukrainian women in Italy united by the Lastivka Association. To date, they have collected and sent 14 truckloads (ranging from 18-24 tonnes each) to various hot spots in Ukraine for those most in need. This initiative is supported by the Consulate of Ukraine in Milan and the charitable organization Caritas in Mukachevo where the goods are transferred for internal transport. With the influx of Ukrainian refugees fleeing from Russian military attacks, the Association in cooperation with local authorities and civil society is working on resettling the Ukrainians with Italian families and in community centres in the city of San Donà di Piave (Veneto region). The women also helped start Italian language courses. Currently, there are two, and soon there will be a third group of students, each with 12 people. As of March 26, a centre for refugee children will open on Saturdays with the ability to accommodate over 70 children from 2-18 years of age. The Saturday school in Treviso opened three elementary classes for Ukrainian children.

FINLAND

Ukrainians in Finland have maintained ongoing pickets near the Mannerheim monument across from the Finnish Parliament and held demonstrations on Saturdays, joined by local residents. Most recently, the Association of Ukrainians in Finland organized a gathering at the central office of the Finnish Railway demanding the elimination of the express Helsinki-St. Petersburg train. In addition, the participants appealed for global unity in support of Ukraine, closing the sky above Ukraine, and ending relations with war criminals. On the initiative and with the support of the Association of Ukrainians in Finland the Assistance Centre for Ukrainians victimized by the war opened its doors. Its goal is to provide a safe haven for displaced persons from Ukraine, offer consultation, psychological support, clothing and other assistance, and to become a centre for the Ukrainian community and a platform through which other non-governmental organizations in Finland can offer support. This centre includes a lounge area for socializing and rest, a consultation zone for cooperation among NGOs, a welcome point with clothing and other necessities for arriving families, rooms for group therapy, play area for children, psychological support for children, computer zone, employment assistance. The Association also collects and sends to Ukraine necessary humanitarian aid.

FRANCE

A demonstration – Stop poutine – Stop la guerre – was held on Wednesday, March 23 in Paris. Centre Anne de Kyiv in Senlis assists all refugees from Ukraine. From the beginning of the invasion, 10 trucks filled with medication, food, children’s clothing and sleeping bags have departed Senlis for various Ukrainian cities, according to the Centre’s Facebook page.

HUNGARY

On March 24, the day marking the first month of the Ukrainian people’s fight for the future of their country, the Ukrainian Cultural Association in Hungary and the youth organization “Iednist” organized the latest in a series of demonstrations in support of Ukraine. It took place across from the Russian embassy with the participation of Ukrainians, including refugees, and local residents and friends of Ukraine. They appealed for the Hungarian government to close the sky over Ukraine, to provide defensive weapons and to embargo all Russian goods. Speaking to the gathering, Association president and UWC Executive Committee member Jaroszlawa Hartianyi emphasized that today Ukraine is protecting all of Europe and the international community from a terrorist, shared information about UWC activities in support of Ukraine and called on the Russian forces to immediately cease their criminal activity and return home. Participants chanted slogans in defense of Ukraine, hailed the cities of Ukraine, and created a wall of shame for Russia featuring photographs of the bloody consequences of the war in Ukraine. On April 2 the Association, together with mothers-refugees from Ukraine, will hold a peaceful march in Budapest.

BULGARIA

To focus attention in Bulgaria on the genocide of the Ukrainian people being committed before the eyes of the world by the Kremlin, the Association of Ukrainian Organizations in Bulgaria “Maty-Ukraina” was joined by Bulgarian activists in a peaceful march in Sofia on March 24 – the day marking one month of the fight of Ukrainian defenders for their land and the future of their people. The march led through the city centre past the Bulgarian parliament, stopping in front of the presidential residence. During the event participants honoured the memory of the many victims of Russian occupation since 2014 including the lives lost in the last month. Association president Olena Kotseva addressed the meeting, emphasizing that today’s military invasion by Russia of Ukraine and the decimation of its peaceful population must be stopped by the global community with the provision of the needed weapons, financial aid and closing the sky for humanitarian corridors.

Throughout the last month the Ukrainian community, friends, and supporters of Ukraine, united by the “Maty-Ukraina” Association, along with Bulgarian NGOs, have collected humanitarian aid which is being regularly delivered to Ukrainian defenders and victims of the war.

POLAND

From the first day of Putin’s war in Ukraine, the Ukrainian community in Przemysl led by the local branch of the Association of Ukrainians in Poland (AUP) has been actively providing support for Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees. As of today, in receiving centres in Przemysl, Medyka and Korszowa, over 400 interpreters are working with Polish governing authorities, self-government, police, border services and different Polish organizations, as well as with journalists from around the world. The Ukrainian Home in Przemysl became a true rescue centre, opening its doors to numerous refugees. It offers a place to rest, and a place for children to play. Every day this centre welcomes 50-60 mothers with their children. The Ukrainian Home provides refugees with access to medical and psychological support. The facility will soon offer a pre-school, mother’s groups, and Polish and Ukrainian language courses. Daily volunteers help find safe transport and in cooperation with other AUP branches, housing. They also support the delivery of humanitarian aid, including dozens of ambulances to Ukraine. The Przemysl branch continues to collect donations for the purchase of medical equipment.

LUXEMBOURG

From day one of the terrorist acts of the Russian army in Ukraine the Ukrainian community in Luxembourg has held numerous demonstrations to focus the attention of the world on the need to stop Putin and to show solidarity with the Ukrainian people. The most recent demonstration in Luxembourg gathered close to 3,000 people including local residents and all who aspire to peace in the world and on Ukrainian lands. The Ukrainians walked through city streets with a huge Ukrainian flag, and placards calling to close the sky over Ukraine and to immediately stop the Russian war in Ukraine.

ARGENTINA

A plane carrying humanitarian aid from the Ukrainian community in Argentina has landed in Poland – the second instalment of aid that will be distributed to Ukrainian refugees from war ravaged Ukraine. The needed items collected by the community include 130 folding beds, first aid kits, and over 10 tonnes of clothing for men, women, and children. This effort was supported by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Argentina and Poland, and different state agencies and businesses.

CANADA

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress and Canada-Ukraine Foundation assists victims in all parts of Ukraine, families that have crossed the borders into Romania and Moldova, and provides food aid to families that have been displaced by the war and are currently in Lviv and surrounding vicinities. The Canada-Ukraine Foundation also supports the coordination of the transport of medical aid and equipment from community initiatives across Canada. Learn more.