The war in Ukraine

You’ve probably heard about the war in Ukraine. Maybe you saw it on the news, maybe you heard people chatting about it in the streets, or maybe your school recently welcomed children who have evacuated Ukraine in search of a safer life elsewhere.

Ukrainian troops.

What is really going on and how did it start?

To understand why the war started, you need to understand a bit about the countries’ history. Ukraine is a country located in Eastern Europe and is neighboured by 7 countries. One of its neighbours to the East is Russia. Until 1991, Ukraine used to be part of a country called the Soviet Union. But in 1991 the Soviet Union collapsed, and was split up in to 15 independent countries, with Russia being the biggest of the 15 countries. The current leader of Russia, Vladimir Putin, has always been uncomfortable with the fact that Ukraine split off from Russia. He wanted to create a big, grand, and powerful Russia that Ukraine was part of. But the Ukrainian leader, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and many Ukranian people, did not want to be part of Russia and preferred to remain an independent nation. So, on February 24th 2022, Putin ordered his troops to invade Ukraine in the hope of taking over Ukraine.

The war has gone on for many months causing devastation to the lives of so many people. Soldiers have been seriously injured or even died, and Ukrainians have been forced to leave their homes, schools, and families in search of safety.

Map showing Russia and Ukraine.

What have other countries done to help?

If learning about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine made you feel like this was unfair, you might be pleased to hear that you are not the only one. Lots of countries all around the world have come together to help Ukraine.

Many countries have offered military assistance, meaning that they have given weapons to the Ukranian army to help them in their fight. Others have imposed sanctions on Russia. Sanctions are when a country imposes penalties on another country to stop it acting aggressively, or breaking international law. In Russia’s case this means, for example, that countries won’t trade with Russia. So Russia is unable to sell its goods to make money and can’t buy the goods that it needs to ensure its people can live a healthy and productive life.

Weapons arrive in Ukraine from other countries.

How can people like you help?

But it’s not just countries that have the power to make a difference to those affected by the war. Wonderful people like you can help too.

You can:

  • Raise money for British Red Cross, a charity that provides care and support to those affected by the war in Ukraine. One fun way to raise money for Ukraine could be to organise a home clothes day where you would ask students to dress in Ukraine colours (blue and yellow) and bring in £1. Or, you could organise a bake sale and ice the cakes with blue and yellow icing!
  • Donate items such as clothes, blankets and toiletries to those in need. There are lots of places to donate all over the UK so there is bound to be one near you! Ask a grown up to help you search online to find the nearest one. You could type something like ‘Ukraine donation point [insert your home town]’ into Google.
  • Welcome refugees into your hometown with open arms. Remember that refugees have left everything behind: their toys, clothes, jobs, friends, and family. You could help show them around your school on their first day, or invite them to play with you in the playground.

Relevant SDG:

If you’d like to learn more about war and peace around the world, check out the page on UN Sustainable Development Goal 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions.

x Support SuperKind