What you need to know about the Ukraine Crisis

by | 28th Feb 2022


The fighting in Ukraine comes after a sizable military build up on the country’s border, where Russian President Vladmire Putin staged around 200,000 troops before beginning a full scale invasion of the country on multiple fronts. It has now become clear that Putin wants to overthrow Ukraine’s democratically elected government. It comes eight years after Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014. The fighting represents one of the biggest security challenges for Europe since World War II, with hundreds of thousands of refugees spilling into neighbouring countries. The conflict has been dubbed “Putin’s War”.

The now

Following several devastating attacks over the first five days of fighting, reports estimate that nearly 400 civilians, among them up to 16 children, have been killed. More than 1,684 people, including 116 children, have also been wounded.

This number is quickly increasing as just today Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv, underwent massive shelling and saw the possible use of cluster munitions. Weapons that scatter over a large area and are notorious for causing harm to civilians. Dozens of people are said to have been killed and hundreds more have been wounded. 

More than 100 countries have committed to never using these types of weapons under the Convention of Cluster Munitions. Amnesty International has stated that the use of these weapons may constitute a war crime.

Photo of a woman in a street in Ukraine surrounded by damaged buildings - credit Reuters
Photo credit: Reuters
Five days into the invasion, reports state that more than 500,000 people have fled Ukraine since the start of the Putin-led Russian offensive. Refugees fleeing the war are waiting up to 40 hours at the border crossing to Poland, as cars line up for 14km. Other countries receiving refugees are Hungary, Moldova, Romania and Slovakia.
Photo of families fleeing Ukraine - Credit: Akos Stiller Bloomberg
Photo credit: Akos Stiller / Bloomberg
However, recent reports have stated that security officials are preventing and blocking Black people and People of Colour from boarding buses and trains going to the border, forcing them to the back of queues as people wait to cross borders. Some are waiting in freezing cold temperatures for days.

What’s happening at the border is unacceptable. Race should not define your right to safety. Treating people fleeing for safety in a humane way should not be conditional, optional, or viewed as an act of generosity – it is a basic requirement of a decent society, regardless of your race.

How we’re responding

Alongside our continuous support for refugees, asylum seekers and forcibly displaced people globally, we have launched an urgent Ukraine Crisis Fundraiser.
With your donations we’ll be supporting projects (that meet our criteria) who are providing vital aid and services to those still in and fleeing the country, including: emergency medical care, food, shelter, clean water, wash essentials, clothes, legal support, support for the LGBTQIA+ community and mental health support.

We are currently reaching out to our network, including existing partners in the region, to get urgent support to the organisations stepping up to get help to those who desperately need it at this time.

It’s easy to feel helpless in moments like this, but we ask you to respond with love in the face of such calculated and cruel aggression.

Photo of family sheltering in Ukraine - credit: Reuters
Photo credit: Reuters

Other ways to show your support

Putin’s invasion is not just an attack on Ukraine. It is an attack on freedom, truth, democracy and humanity.

At Choose Love, we believe that love has no borders. We stand with people in and fleeing Ukraine during this devastating moment in history.