On February 24, 2022, Russian launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, following military build-up on the nation's border.
Dubbed a "special military operating" by President Vladimir Putin, and slammed by the international community with blanket condemnation, the invasion of Ukraine has had a devastating effect on both the country and its people as well as wider ramifications on a socio-economic basis.
As such, a whole host of organizations have mobilized to help out Ukrainians who have been displaced or affected by the ongoing war, which has seen street-to-street fighting.
If you wish to help out the Ukrainian people, then there are numerous way you can lend aid.
You can donate to various charitable organizations that work in warzone and conflict areas. These include UNICEF (opens in new tab), which works on providing health and nutritional care, as well as access to clean water; the latter has reportedly been disrupted due to heavy weapons fire hitting critical water infrastructure.
Médecins Sans Frontieres (opens in new tab), aka Doctors Without Borders, has several teams in Ukraine, where it aims to provide medical care in the warzone.
Voices of Children (opens in new tab) is a Ukrainian organization that provides psychological and psychosocial support to children affected by the armed conflict that's been taking place in the nation and surrounding areas since 2014.
Charity site Care (opens in new tab) has a Ukraine emergency fund for the nation, and aims to provide food, water and other emergency aid.
And Washington D.C. chef José Andrés has his World Central Kitchen (opens in new tab) team in Europe, where it’s providing “thousands of meals in Poland, Romania and even inside Ukraine,” and you can donate to the organization.
The International Committee of The Red Cross (opens in new tab) is also working with the Red Cross in Ukraine and you can donate to the medical aid organization as well.
In the tech world, companies are offering enticements to donate to Ukraine relief efforts. For instance, donate at least $40 (with 100% of that money going to relief programs), and $40, Humble will give you 123 games, ebooks and other pieces of software worth $2,572. That bundle is available through March 25.
Those are to name but a few, as there are also a myriad of other charities and emergency aid organizations that have sprung into action to help Ukrainians who’ve had their lives disrupted by the Russian invasion.
Just make sure you're not taken in by one of the many Ukrainian charity scams that have sprung up in the wake of the crisis.
Elon Musk steps up with Starlink internet
Tech luminary and active Twitter user Elon Musk has also jumped to the aid of Ukraine.
In response to internet disruption in Ukraine caused by the Russian invasion, Musk has activated the Starlink satellite internet service in the country.
The move comes in response to Mykhailo Fedorov (opens in new tab), the vice prime minister of Ukraine and minister of digital transformation, tweeting at Musk about the situation in the invaded country in comparison to Musk’s space ambitions.
"While you try to colonize Mars — Russia try [sic] to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space — Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand," tweeted Fedorov. We are guessing the “stand” bit is Fedorov wanting the Russian public to condemn the actions of the country’s government.
In response, Musk succinctly replied (opens in new tab): “Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.”
Other tech-related firms have been affected by the war, with Netflix looking set to refuse to host propaganda channels on its platform. And Goggle is pushing out air raid alerts to Ukrainian Android users.
Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.February 26, 2022
Internet connectivity is arguably more critical to the flow of information and communion in a war than it even is in peacetime. Aggressors will likely seek to cut connectivity in order to prevent the spread of enemy information and to somewhat control the narrative of their invasion, while defenders will want to use the internet to communicate what's going on in their nation to the wider world.
So Musk stepping in to help restore connectivity in Ukraine will hopefully allow the invaded country to keep its communications up and running and prevent Russia from controlling the perception of the war.