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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

UPDATED: Denmark’s government supports Ukraine EU candidacy 

Denmark’s government has said it will support Ukraine’s bid for EU membership after the European Commission deemed the country’s candidacy viable.

UPDATED: Denmark's government supports Ukraine EU candidacy 

Ukraine’s bid to be part of the EU got a majority backing in Danish Parliament on Friday after the European Commission backed the bid.

“It is really, really important that Europe opens the door for Ukraine, so that we can get started to ensure that Ukraine can be ready for EU membership,” foreign affairs spokesperson Michael Aastrup told newswire Ritzau.

Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said on Twitter that Denmark was looking forward to continuing cooperation with Ukraine on reforms.

The possibility for Ukraine to become part of the EU is conditional on Ukraine implementing reforms – on rule of law, oligarchs, human rights and tackling corruption – European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday. She added that “good work has been done.”

Candidacy status is a significant step to joining the EU but the whole process can take years.

“When a candidate’s status is granted, it is not the same as Ukraine being ready to join the EU. There are a large number of criteria to be met and there are a large number of outstanding ones that Ukraine lacks. These are some of the things that are being addressed”, Michael Aastrup said.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen will attend a meeting in Brussels next week where the recommendation from the European Commission will be voted and signed off by the EU’s 27 member states. France, Germany and Italy have also already backed Ukraine’s bid but the decision has to be unanimous.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has said that status as a candidate for EU membership is vital to his country, while the country’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba has said the question could be decisive in the war to defend Ukraine from invasion by Russia.

READ MORE: Number of Ukrainian refugees working in Denmark triples in one month

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