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UKRAINE

How can people in Denmark help Ukraine?

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has elicited a strong response among the Danish public with many people desperate to help - but it's hard to know how from a distance. Here's a few ways that people in Denmark can support Ukraine and its people.

Flowers and candles in front of the Ukrainian Embassy in Copenhagen
Flowers and candles in front of the Ukrainian Embassy in Copenhagen, Friday 25th February 2022. Ukraine was invaded by Russia on Thursday February 24th. Photo: Claus Bech/Ritzau Scanpix

Over the past few days, it’s been impossible to ignore the ongoing war unfolding in Ukraine. Devastating scenes of destruction and human suffering, fears of the conflict escalating and worries for any friends and family in the country have led many to feel powerless and unsure of how best to help.

Though we as individuals may not be able to place sanctions on Russia directly, or provide warehouses full of military supplies to Ukraine, there are many real and direct ways we can support the people of Ukraine and their fight for democracy. Here are a few of them.

Donate time, money or items to humanitarian organisations

Donations are currently crucial ways to help get emergency help to the right areas, according to the Danish Red Cross.

“It’s where catastrophe hits that we can make the biggest difference,” Danish Red Cross head of communications Klaus Nørskov told broadcaster TV2 on Sunday.

A few Ukrainian refugees have now arrived in Denmark, but not as yet in large numbers. But material donations like clothes, shoes and toys are likely to come in useful, the NGO said.

“It’s important to underline that there could easily be a need for donations in the form of clothes, bicycles and toys,” Nørskov said.

“If you want to do something concrete here and now, you can always take donations to the local Red Cross charity shop or leave them in a Red Cross container [which are clear marked and often found in residential areas and near supermarkets, ed.]. It may be needed in the coming period and is useful regardless,” he said.

On its website, the organisation states that it is “currently organising (its) Danish response” to the war in Ukraine.

“Different help tasks could quickly arise and we may need many more volunteers,” it states.

You can register your interest in volunteering via this link. A special phone number – 35299960 – has been setup. Companies who may be able to donate in larger quantities are encouraged to use this number to get in touch with Red Cross Denmark.

Save the Children Denmark (Red Barnet) has set up donations buttons on its website which can provide help to children and families caught up in the war.

Both organisations can also be quickly donated to using Denmark’s payment app MobilePay. See here for the Red Cross. For Save the Children Denmark, the MobilePay number is 247744. You can also SMS the word ‘RED’ to 1912 to instantly donate 100 kroner to the latter organisation.

These are just two charities active in Denmark through which you can offer concrete support to people affected by the war in Ukraine. Others include Unicef Denmark and Amnesty Denmark. The latter is working to document attacks on Ukrainian civilians.

The United Nations’ Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has been in Ukraine since 1994. UNHCR works to provide shelter for refugees, give emergency care, repair homes which have been destroyed, provide winter clothing and repair schools so that children can continue their education.

You can support UNHCR in Denmark via this link to their website, which provides the option for MobilePay payment.

A woman cries next to her children after fleeing from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at the border crossing in Siret, Romania, February 28th, 2022. Photo: Stoyan Nenov/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

Donate to support Ukrainian media

In the wake of Russia’s invasion, accurate information is more important than ever. But journalists working in the country are facing unprecedented challenges. 

As a result, media partners across Europe are joining forces to give Ukrainian outlets all the financial, operational and technical support they need at a very difficult time. 

And as the response to Vladimir Putin’s aggression from the EU and elsewhere has shown, coordinated challenges to Russia’s attack are entirely necessary to ensure that Ukraine can continue to operate as a modern, functioning democracy. 

If you would like to donate you can find all the information here, or in our article on this campaign.

Support the Ukrainian military directly

To support the Ukrainian military directly, you can donate to Army SOS, which buys the supplies the army needs (including things like radio sets, uniforms, supplies and ammunition) and promises to deliver them straight to the front lines. You can also donate to the army via a special fund set up by the National Bank of Ukraine and to Come Back Alive, a foundation set up to support the Ukrainian military with by purchasing essential equipment like body armour and helmets.

Join a solidarity protest

It may feel indirect compared to donating money or handing over physical aid at a collection point, but getting out on the streets in a show of solidarity with the people of Ukraine is a vital part of the picture.

Not only is it crucial at this juncture to show Ukraine the world is with them, but protesting is also a good way of channeling pent up frustration, anger or sadness into something productive and connecting with other people who are feeling the same way.

Last weekend saw demonstrations in several Danish cities (not just Copenhagen and Aarhus) in support of Ukraine. The demonstrations had different organisers including youth political parties and the Ukrainian Embassy, but others could step in to arrange future ones. We can’t list (or indeed predict) where future demonstrations might occur and who will organise them, but it’s worth keeping tabs on political, support group and NGO websites and social media channels for future events.

A support demonstration for Ukraine in Copenhagen on February 27th 2022. Photo: Nils Meilvang/Ritzau Scanpix

Push for an appropriate response

This one may take some reading up on, but if you’re passionate about, for example, toughening sanctions on Russia or ensuring a more robust response to the crisis from politicians, companies or sports teams you follow, it doesn’t hurt to put pressure on them. 

You can do this by tweeting them or writing to them directly to express your opinion. Of course, it’s best to do this politely and by stating a few key grounds for your opinions and asking them to take the action you propose, rather than having a rant (though that can feel very cathartic).

If you think an issue is being overlooked or needs a greater response from the public and politicians, you can also set up online petitions on sites like Change.org.

Do you know another way people in Denmark can help Ukraine which is not on our list? Tell us so we can update it – either comment this article or email us.

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UKRAINE

Rapping, breakdancing Ukrainians win Eurovision in musical morale boost

Ukraine won the Eurovision Song Contest Sunday with an infectious hip-hop folk melody, boosting spirits in the embattled nation fighting off a Russian invasion that has killed thousands and displaced millions of people.

Rapping, breakdancing Ukrainians win Eurovision in musical morale boost

Riding a huge wave of public support, Kalush Orchestra beat 24 competitors in the finale of the world’s biggest live music event with “Stefania”, a rap lullaby combining Ukrainian folk and modern hip-hop rhythms.

“Please help Ukraine and Mariupol! Help Azovstal right now,” implored frontman Oleh Psiuk in English from the stage after their performance was met by a cheering audience.

In the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, the triumph was met with smiles and visible relief.

“It’s a small ray of happiness. It’s very important now for us,” said Iryna Vorobey, a 35-year-old businesswoman, adding that the support from Europe was “incredible”.

Following the win, Psiuk — whose bubblegum-pink bucket hat has made him instantly recognisable — thanked everyone who voted for his country in the contest, which is watched by millions of viewers.

“The victory is very important for Ukraine, especially this year. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Glory to Ukraine,” Psiuk told journalists.

Music conquers Europe

The win provided a much-needed morale boost for the embattled nation in its third month of battling much-larger Russian forces.

Mahmood & BLANCO  performing for Italy at Eurovision 2022

Mahmood & BLANCO perform on behalf of Italy during the final of the Eurovision Song contest 2022 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP)

“Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe!” he wrote on Facebook.

“This win is so very good for our mood,” Andriy Nemkovych, a 28 year-old project manager, told AFP in Kyiv.

The victory drew praise in unlikely corners, as the deputy chief of the NATO military alliance said it showed just how much public support ex-Soviet Ukraine has in fighting off Moscow.

“I would like to congratulate Ukraine for winning the Eurovision contest,” Mircea Geoana said as he arrived in Berlin for talks that will tackle the alliance’s expansion in the wake of the Kremlin’s war.

“And this is not something I’m making in a light way because we have seen yesterday the immense public support all over Europe and Australia for the bravery of” Ukraine, Geoana said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the win “a clear reflection of not just your talent, but of the unwavering support for your fight for freedom”.

And European Council President Charles Michel said he hoped next year’s contest “can be hosted in Kyiv in a free and united Ukraine”.

‘Ready to fight’
Despite the joyous theatrics that are a hallmark of the song contest, the war in Ukraine hung heavily over the festivities this year.
 
The European Broadcasting Union, which organises the event, banned Russia on February 25, the day after Moscow invaded its neighbour.
 
“Stefania”, written by Psiuk as a tribute to his mother before the war, mixes traditional Ukrainian folk music played on flute-like instruments with an invigorating hip-hop beat. The band donned richly embroidered ethnic garb
to perform their act.
 
 
Nostalgic lyrics such as “I’ll always find my way home even if all the roads are destroyed” resonated all the more as millions of Ukrainians have been displaced by war.

Kalush Orchestra received special authorisation from Ukraine’s government to attend Eurovision, since men of fighting age are prohibited from leaving the country, but that permit expires in two days.

Psiuk said he was not sure what awaited the band as war rages back home.

“Like every Ukrainian, we are ready to fight as much as we can and go until the end.

Britain’s ‘Space Man’

Ukraine beat a host of over-the-top acts at the kitschy, quirky annual musical event, including Norway’s Subwoolfer, who sang about bananas while dressed in yellow wolf masks, and Serbia’s Konstrakta, who questioned national healthcare while meticulously scrubbing her hands onstage.

Coming in second place was Britain with Sam Ryder’s “Space Man” and its stratospheric notes, followed by Spain with the reggaeton “SloMo” from Chanel.

After a quarter-century of being shut out from the top spot, Britain had hoped to have a winner in “Space Man” and its high notes belted by the affable, long-haired Ryder.

Britain had been ahead after votes were counted from the national juries, but a jaw-dropping 439 points awarded to Ukraine from the public pushed it to the top spot.

Eurovision’s winner is chosen by a cast of music industry professionals — and members of the public — from each country, with votes for one’s home nation not allowed.

Eurovision is a hit among fans not only for the music, but for the looks on display and this year was no exception. Lithuania’s Monika Liu generated as much social media buzz for her bowl cut hairdo as her sensual and elegant
“Sentimentai”.

Other offerings included Greece’s “Die Together” by Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord and “Brividi” (Shivers), a duet from Italy’s Mahmood and Blanco.

Italy had hoped the gay-themed love song would bring it a second consecutive Eurovision win after last year’s “Zitti e Buoni” (Shut up and Behave) from high-octane glam rockers Maneskin.

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