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UKRAINE

How can people in Denmark offer Ukrainian refugees a place to stay?

Denmark’s local authorities are working to provide accommodation for Ukrainian refugees who are expected to arrive in the country.

People demonstrate in support of Ukraine in Copenhagen
Western countries have placed economic sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine. How will they impact Austria? Photo: Thomas Sjørup/Ritzau Scanpix

As well as making arrangements to accommodate refugees from Ukraine, many municipalities have provided contact information for residents who want to offer a place to stay in their own homes for refugees.

Shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24th, the Danish Immigration Service (Udlændingestyrelsen) wrote to the country’s 98 municipalities asking them to report back as to the extent to which they’d be able to take in refugees.

Many municipalities now have some level of provision in place having had some time to make arrangements.

Information can be found on municipality websites in many cases, and the local authorities can also be contacted directly by phone or email.

It should be noted that Ukrainian nationals are allowed to stay in Denmark for up to 90 days without a visa under existing immigration rules. Residence and work permit rules for Ukrainians are expected to change once a special law for Ukrainians displaced by the war has been passed by parliament.

READ ALSO: Danish government and industry agree on deal for Ukrainian work permits

Aabenraa Municipality, which is located close to the German border, said as early as February 28th that it would use a former care home as a temporary place of accommodation for refugees from Ukraine.

The facility, which has also been used as an asylum facility, has 17 separate apartments with their own bathroom and kitchen facilities and can house families.

The South Jutland municipality later stated it had set up a special email address for residents or businesses who wished to offer their assistance to refugees, including accommodation.

“We are experiencing a large demand from residents, associations and businesses who are ready to help in this unhappy situation. It is particularly offers to make homes or buildings available for Ukrainian refugees we receive,” a municipality official said in a March 1st press statement.

“For most of these requests, however, we are not the right authority. With the email address [email protected], we can collate questions and help to send the person who is asking to the right authority,” they said.

Other municipalities have similar arrangements in place whereby people interested in offering a space in their homes to refugees from Ukraine can contact their local authority.

Copenhagen Municipality has a page on its website dedicated to the Ukraine war, on which it says relevant links and information will be added on an ongoing basis.

That page does not, at the time of writing, include specific information regarding offering Ukrainians a place to stay at private homes, but the municipality in the capital has set up a hotline for questions related to the arrival of Ukrainian refugees – 33 66 30 12 – and an email address, [email protected].

In second city Aarhus, a similar information and resources page includes a direct link to a registration page (in Danish) on which Aarhus residents can let the municipality know they are interested in offering accommodation. The registration form asks for information on the type of home or accommodation being offered.

Odense Municipality meanwhile asks residents who wish to make a home available for Ukrainian refugees to contact them via 51 71 15 35 or [email protected].

“We will note your inquiry and you will be contacted if there is a need to make use of your home,” the municipality writes.

It’s not just the biggest cities or border areas providing this type of information.

Vejle Municipality, for example, states that it has “211 more or less ‘ready-to-move-in’ places for Ukrainian refugees”.

If you want to offer a place to stay – or you know Ukrainians who need a place to stay – in Vejle, you can contact the municipality on [email protected].

“We will contact you if there is any need for accommodation in private homes in Vejle Municipality,” the local authority states.

In general, residents in all Danish municipalities wishing to offer accommodation to Ukrainians can start by checking the website of their local municipality for information, and can also contact them directly with any inquiries.

READ ALSO: How can people in Denmark help Ukraine?

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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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