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How to help Ukrainians now
Simplified and adapted
A number of you have written to me asking for this message to be affirmed, updated, and simplified. Eleven days in to the war, a few things have changed.
The Russian war effort, following a pattern we know from Chechnya and Syria, has shifted to encircling cities and killing civilians. The number of Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russian atrocity has reached 1.5 million. About a million Ukrainian refugees have already arrived in Poland in just ten days. This is a stunning number. So some of the organizations I mention will now be Polish.
The horror that Russian force is now causing in Ukraine has all but vanished from Russian media. Independent media has been almost completely shut down in Russia. That blackout will also affect what I suggest.
One thing has been constant. Since I first sent out a list of charities, Ukrainian citizens have proven their willingness to sacrifice: on the battlefield, defending their country from an unjustifiable war, but also in civil society, as volunteers. When I speak to my friends and colleagues in Ukraine, this is what strikes me: everyone, despite the shelling and the bombs, is doing something. But they could use our help.
Ukraine is not a wealthy country. GDP per capita in the United States is about $63,000. In Ukraine it is about $4000. And now add to that the destruction of roads, airports, homes, hospitals, schools, all in these horrible last few days. If you can give a little, you can make a difference. And some of you can give more than a little. Please do. As always, I will give a range of options, since people have different values. Here is a new list:
1. General humanitarian aid to Ukrainians can be arranged by Razom, which can take a credit card and give you a tax deductions. They are a flexible group of volunteers and will cooperate with other partners in the US and in Poland and Ukraine. Donate to Razom here.
2. A European group with a good reputation and a good partner in Ukraine (Vostok SOS) is Liberico. You can easily donate to Liberico by credit card. Mark "Ukraine" as the purpose of your donation.
3. In Poland the flood of refugees must be handled by countless small organizations. One of the very best is the Borderland Foundation, whose mission for decades has been cross-border cultural understanding. These are people I know well and trust. They have mobilized to take Ukrainian refugees and to build a network across Poland. You cannot donate to them with a card, but you can donate in dollars using their bank account. This is the information you need:
IBAN: PL53124058911787001042509362; SWIFT: PKOPPLPW; Bank PKO SA SUWAŁKI. The beneficiary is Fundacja Pogranicze.
4. The largest charity in Poland is Caritas, a branch of the larger Catholic organization under the same name. It is acting to support refugees on a large scale. Again, you would need to make a bank transfer, but it is not difficult. You just go online with your bank.
IBAN: PL57 1160 2202 0000 0000 6663 1212; SWIFT: BIGBPLPWXXX; Bank Millennium, ul. Stanisława Żaryna 2A, 02-593 Warszawa; Purpose: Ukraine
5. More and more of you seem to be interested in helping the Ukrainian armed forces. An anonymous American reportedly just gave one million dollars. I know of three three legitimate ways to do this.
IBAN: UA203052990000026003016809842; SWIFT: PBANUA2XXXX; Bank: JSC CB "PRIVATBANK
6. Now that independent media in Russia has been almost entirely silenced, the next best thing in Meduza, which is based in Riga, Latvia. They have excellent commentators and reporters, and you can sign up for their bulletin. They cannot really advertise, since in Russia they are treated as a "foreign agent," so they depend upon donations. They are one of the few ways the truth about Ukraine can reach Russians. Donate to Meduza here.
As soon as I post this I will make my own round of donations for the day. I hope you will join me.