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Ukraine: A People's War.
Here's how to get help to the front lines.
I’m afraid we’re long past the point of hashtag-shaming and appeals to reason and pleas for peace. For anyone reading this who’s still counseling the exertions of “diplomacy” in place of armed resistance, I’m sorry, but you’ve had your turn. It didn’t work. We can jaw-jaw as much as we like but we can no longer kid ourselves.
Ukraine is owed the duty of our solidarity. Volodymyr Zelensky’s government and the people are one. The government is arming the people, and the people are taking up arms.
This has been a long time coming, as I set out in my Macleans essay today. It has been coming from Moscow, Beijing, and Tehran and a rising bloc of police states, and the resistance has been mounted from Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Syria, and points in between. Sorry to darken your day, but there we are. “The global order is nearing a tipping point,” the venerable Freedom House warned in its annual report this week, “and if democracy’s defenders do not work together to help guarantee freedom for all people, the authoritarian model will prevail.”
Ukraine is asking for our help. Here’s how to make some use of ourselves.
At the top of my list is Come Back Alive, because the most reputable Ukrainian journalists recommend it as being among “the most trustworthy and accountable charities working for the military in Ukraine,” as the Kyiv Independent describes it. If you’re squeamish about buying guns, fine. The fund buys auxiliary equipment, things like body armour, drones, software, and training programs. You can donate right here, and save a life. There’s an option there to support the auxiliary or the military directly.
An armed resistance is not for the faint of heart. Guerrilla fighters get killed, and they get seriously injured. The Revived Soldiers organization is an eminently respectable effort that provides medical aid and “sustainable living standards” for injured Ukrainian soldiers and their families. Donate right here with your credit card or via Paypal.
This isn’t just “guy stuff.” Ukraine is said to have one of the highest proportions of women serving as soldiers of any country in the world.
For some long while, the Razom organization has been engaged in terrific work supporting Ukraine’s efforts at building a flourishing democracy. It’s a diaspora organization led almost entirely by women. Among their many initiatives, the priority work now is their Emergency Response, which has so far raised about $100,000, which is great, but nowhere near enough.
The Emergency Response Fund is purchasing QuilClot combat gauzes, rescue CAT tourniquets, Israeli emergency bandages, iridium satellite phones, that sort of thing. Because Ukrainian suppliers are fast depleting their inventory, Razom is making its purchases mostly elsewhere in Europe and the United States. Please be generous. You can donate by credit card. You can donate via PayPal.
Among the accomplishments Ukraine can count for itself in recent years, women comprise about 15 percent of the country’s military, and there are now about 32,000 women serving in a a variety of roles, including front line combat. Among Canada’s achievements, the Ukrainian diaspora community is the largest in the western world - about 1.36 million Canadians are at least partly of Ukrainian descent. There has some ugly banter making the rounds to the effect that Canada’s commitments to Ukraine have been influenced by this, out of a concern with “domestic politics,” as though that would be a bad thing even if it were true (Canada is a democracy), but in any case it isn’t. Ukrainian-Canadians have had no inordinate influence on Canadian foreign policy. At a moment like this, it would be great if they did.
There are a number of efforts underway in the Ukrainian-Canadian community to send humanitarian relief to the old country. The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton, for instance, has begun this initiative, which you can support right here.
On a larger scale the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) and the Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF) have combined forces in a Humanitarian Relief Committee, with a new goal of raising $5 million for more supplies of food and medicine for Ukrainians displaced by Moscow’s invasion- estimated to exceed 100,000 people already. The Relief Committe’s target is about half-way there. Donate here to put them over the top.
Lastly, Ottawa has promised a dollar-for-dollar contribution up to $10 million for donations under $100,000 to the Canadian Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal (offer good until March 18!) The funds go to the Red Cross and the Red Crescent working in Ukraine. Here’s how to donate.
Sorry if this newsletter is a bit messy. I’ve been all over the Ukraine story this week for the National Post, the Ottawa Citizen and Macleans, apart from work on this newsletter’s Ukraine content and radio interviews and so on. I’m tired and I have miles to go before I sleep. Just now composing a newsletter arising from my Macleans essay today on what it will take to win this war, and what information sources to trust at the moment. For years, Ukraine has been subjected to grotesque hybrid-war dezinformatsiya of precisely the kind our Syrians friends are familiar with, and the incoming assaults have been brutal over the past few days. I’ll be posting on that along with what has had to be left on the cutting room floor (for paying subscribers) and why that was so, later today.
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