The following is a journal entry. I will share my personal POV and links to donations to help aid Ukraine. Slava Ukraini!
I could start this journal entry by saying fuck tyrants, their beliefs, and their followers. I could not be more upset. I still cannot find the right words to describe the fury that surfaced from my soul ever since I learned about Russia’s (forever long) plan to invade Ukraine. I have gone in circles, written and rewritten, channelled all my anger into words, but this is the best I could bring onto this piece of the internet.
I never followed politics; I loathed learning anything from it. The world is full of the most atrocious BS there could ever be out there. I barely paid attention to the politics from my homeland because they were just unjust and heartbreaking. I took a trip under the radar to visit my family; only a few of my friends knew I was going back home. Protests were going on; petrol prices were through the roof, even food was the same or more expensive than in some cities in the States (a.k.a. the mainland). The current government is close to being officially incompetent, although, unofficially, they already are. I cannot even complain like a local since I have not lived there for almost the past decade. Morally, it feels as if I lost my right to voice my frustration against the government and the stupidity they continue to put the Puerto Rican people through. Deep inside, I wish to go back, but my future would be uncertain in many ways, and I would also have to leave everything I have built behind.
Sounds a bit selfish and unrelated, does not?
This is where my conflict begins. I was going through my internal rage when Ukraine news burst my “news ignorance” and poked me with a sense of reality check and a feeling of sorrow I recall feeling back when Haitian people’s lives were struck by the earthquake of 2010. I felt like shit. Another tragic world event where the creeping feeling of powerfulness and anger pushed me to the edge of fighting whoever crossed my path. The Ukrainian-Russian War shook my ground and my mental health to the point that nothing -believe me- nothing mattered anymore. I am still not clear if it is depression or what, but how can you live knowing a bastard like Putin can do as he pleases because the man has the world grabbed by the balls, knowing he can start a nuclear war. No one wants that, right? But on a side note, some countries tried their best to corner his halfwit ass like the rat he is. For nights I thought, fuck it, blow his ass up; who cares about the consequences if the world is still going to shits… And others nights felt my life was no longer mine; a psychopathic fuck could literally end things for me, for all of us, so what was the point of anything I would/could do?
I continued asking myself the same questions over and over again. The why’s never stopped, the curiosity of digging deeper, was I living fearlessly or living drenched in fear?
I had to remind myself that this was not about me, but I could not forget to take care of my mental health in moments like this. I would repeat in my head, this is about the future of the people of Ukraine and the years coming ahead for them, and what would tomorrow be for them. I immediately ditched Instagram’s BS “lavish” content and followed Ukrainian news through Reddit. I never had the interest to navigate Reddit, but as I was being shared articles from it, I decided to give it a try.
I was uneducated about how the invasion happened but had an idea it had to do with some archaic goals by the clown-in-trone Putin. I had to extend my research; I needed to catch up with the news. This punk (Putin) wants the old Soviet back. He wants to revive Russia’s greatness from before the collapse of the Soviet Union. It sounds like a joke, but one with a massive stank to it. I mean, who would follow this man’s ambitions but those in alliance and agreement, and that blindly follow and believe that the Soviet Union needs to come back. This sounds as terrible as the comeback of low-rise denim, like ew; wtf?!
Western mindset is something that seems threatening to dictator Putin, and having NATO at his doorsteps is just a massive menace. Russia promised Ukraine in the 1990s if it disarmed, Russia would not violate its security. That promise was broken. Not only broken, but tell me how this little man wipes his buttcheeks with that promise and targets civilians, diplomats, and whatever his military can get his hands on. Nothing sounds more fucked up than that unless you can tell me otherwise… Oh, but to spice this pot of heat and hatred -even more- tell me how we had our own American clown, Trump, dancing to Putin’s drum while withholding $214 million in funds appropriated by Congress to the Defense Department for security assistance to Ukraine. Now that is both moronic and embarrassing. WTF did Trump and his administration win with that ridiculous move?
Why is the Western mindset a threat to Eastern countries? Is it a threat their people will no longer drink their cool-aid?
I cannot say what is so wrong with the western mindset. I grew up with it, and I am very content; I can express my voice without being shut, censored, or jailed by someone who disagrees. Ukraine was providing just that to its people. They were on the path to elect whoever they wanted, be part of whatever they pleased and live with a sense of freedom, unlike their big red backwards neighbour. Ukraine embraced its independence; it desired to leave the old Soviet memories behind and move forward with its new identity, feeling like a part of Europe or the West. What was wrong with that; why does this tiny pipi man has to mess with it? Why would anyone -in this time and age- would support something like that?
I have not met anyone who enjoys or supports these totalitarian governments unless they can benefit -somehow- from them. Let the money and power do the talking; narcissistic sociopaths like totalitarian leaders and oligarchs love having it their way. Most of these ilks of politicians are followed by blinded folks who believe whatever they throw on their plate; either the population grew under the influence of these leaders, or there is a lack of education, which is typical around other countries. I say this because I met people who do not understand or cannot explain why they support the political party they root for. It is more common than you can imagine; they only follow the things they can relate with these political leaders but do not research anything else, sometimes, things that can affect them in the future. This is something that I could wild-guess; it fluctuates with the older generations and somehow still lingers around the newer generations but is not as strong. There is no winning with politics, but there is losing massively as a civilian and a victim of these -vicious- governments.
Ukrainians: The Utmost Pièce de Résistance
I have nothing but admiration for those Ukrainian residents who stayed in the country fighting for what they believe in. I am in complete awe and fully inspired by their resistance and their willingness to fight for their country. More so, I can bow to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Zelenskyy granted us faith through the sacrifices a true leader would do for the people he leads; a man devoted to his country and someone that is not afraid of tyrants like Putin. I am so grateful to witness such acts of courage day after day without hesitation. And the strength they have to carry their massive balls facing Russian soldiers and at times even kicking them out of their properties or feeding them. I became obsessed to follow the documentation of their daily fights and hoping that those seeking safety would arrive safely to their destination. It brought me a sense of relief when I read the news that Ukrainians were fighting back as Putin would never imagine, but it would be devastating when the Russian troops would erase everything they came across with. It is so vile and -completely- unnecessary as; if they are trying to erase Ukraine’s history and social lifestyle with every strike to their land.
How can you participate in the fight against tyranny and help support Ukraine?
It shatters my heart to be unable to physically help Ukrainians. Whether at the border helping receive those escaping towards safety or whatever/wherever else I am needed. I cannot simply do so as I cannot afford to leave my 9-5 to volunteer for a better cause. It brings my mood down even from thinking about it. I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way; we all know that thoughts and prayers can go soo far.
There are multiple ways you and I can help Ukrainians. Help me (and the AV Team) share links of organizations sending help to Ukraine. You can also choose to donate; there is no contribution small enough, so sometimes whatever you can donate with your heart is enough. If money is tight, I definitely get it too. You can help spread information about what is currently happening, denounce any misinformation or false propaganda, or anything that would help media-wise.
Note: All text/copy that you see below was written by the Kyiv Independent journalists. Awkwardly Vain is not affiliated with the Kyiv Independent or any of the charities mentioned below. I do not financially profit from any contributions made to the Kyiv Independent or any of these charities. (Also shout out to the contributors/Redditor’s of R/Ukraine for always sharing all these valuable information.
Charities that help the war effort
- Save Life: This NGO crowdfunds non-lethal military equipment, such as thermal vision scopes & supplies it to the Donbas front lines. It also provides training for Ukrainian soldiers, as well as researching troops’ needs and social reintegration of veterans.
- Donbas SOS: This organization helps those who live in the Donbas war zone, those who relocated to other parts of Ukraine, and freed prisoners of war. It offers legal support, accommodation assistance, and psychological aid among other things.
- Crimea SOS: This organization has been helping internally displaced people from Crimea since Russia occupied the peninsula in 2014. It documents Russian authorities’ repressions against Crimeans and advocates for the end of the occupation.
- Hospitallers : This is a medical battalion that unites volunteer paramedics and doctors to save the lives of soldiers on the frontline. They crowdfund their vehicle repairs, fuel, and medical equipment.
- Tabletochki: This foundation has been supporting children with cancer for 10 years. They procure medicines, equipment, and arrange overseas treatment, among other things.
- ChildrenWeWillMakeIt: This movement grew out of a campaign that raised $2 million to get the world’s most expensive medicine for a Ukrainian boy with spinal muscular atrophy. It now fundraises for the treatment of other Ukrainian children with SMA.
- Ruka ob Ruku: This is a running club for children with disabilities. The initiative gives children an opportunity to train and take part in races together with their parents and volunteers.
- Happy Old: This charity provides older people across Ukraine with groceries and medicine, holds educational, entertainment, and sports events, as well as helps with employment. They even created a modeling agency for the elderly.
- Let’s Help: This charity cares for older people living alone and helps state retirement homes. They also advocate for better treatment of older people by the state, including providing people aged 60+ with easy access to education.
- Starenki: It’s a charitable initiative devoted to issues of old age in Ukraine. They help lonely seniors by providing them with groceries and hygiene products.
- Women Perspectives: This organization has been helping women who have faced domestic violence, discrimination in the labor market, and other issues. The NGO works with local and state authorities to promote pro-equality gender policies in Ukraine.
- Marsh Zhinok (Women’s March): Every year, on March 8, this initiative holds a rally promoting gender equality and the protection of women from gender-based violence. Currently, the organization is petitioning for Ukraine to adopt the Istanbul Convention.
- Blood Agents: It is an NGO that promotes regular, conscious and gratuitous blood donations. They have encouraged people to donate blood over 5,000 times over the past six years.
- Donor UA: It is an automated system for recruiting and managing blood donors, designed to promote the donor movement in Ukraine. You can help by signing up and donating blood or by supporting the project with money donation.
- Sirius: Is the largest shelter for stray animals in Ukraine established in 2000. Its capacity is over 3,000 animals. The institution crowdfunds for animal feed, veterinary drugs, construction and repair of enclosures, and other needs.
- Happy Paw: Is a charity dedicated to solving the problems of homeless animals in Ukraine. The charity helps owners find lost animals, sterilizes domestic animals of people in need & holds lectures on humane treatment of homeless animals for schoolchildren.
- UAnimals: Is a movement for protecting animals from exploitation & abuse. The organization managed to achieve a ban on animal circuses & persuaded many designers participating in Ukrainian Fashion Week to abandon natural fur.
- Ukraine Without Waste: It is a Ukrainian non-profit promoting the practice of sorting household waste. They educate companies on how to go green at their offices, and hold lectures for the wider public.
- Laska: It’s a chain of two charity stores in Kyiv that promote conscious shopping. They accept donated clothes, resell 15% of them, and send the rest to orphanages, homes for the elderly and centers for people with disabilities.
- Help the homeless: This initiative supports homeless people & the elderly in need, by providing them with free meals, medicine, hygiene products, clothes & shoes. Launched by a group of volunteers in 2016, the organization has been relying on crowdfunding.
- Suka Zhizn: This organization grew big from a 2017 Instagram account launched to tell stories of homeless people. Now volunteers provide various support to the homeless: employment, sorting out documents, searching for relatives & legal counseling.
Charities for investigative journalism
- Slidstvo: Is an independent agency launched in 2012 that produces award-winning documentaries exposing corruption. They have investigated mismanagement of prisons, fraud, money laundering at PrivatBank & the assassination of journalist Sheremet.
- UKRPravda News: Founded in 2000 by Gongadze, a prominent journalist who was killed the same year, this publication is among the most influential in Ukraine. The reporters break political scoops and unmask officials who abuse their power.
- Zaborona Media: This is an independent media outlet founded by journalists. They investigate topics such as violations of Ukrainian workers’ rights in the Middle East, arms trafficking, and corruption in the construction sector.
Charities that preserve Ukrainian cultural heritage
- Parkhomivka Museum: The museum, located in a small village in eastern Kharkiv Oblast, is an 18th-century villa that offers a permanent collection of exhibits by artists as iconic as Picasso, Malevich & Manet. You can support it by coming & buying a ticket.
- Save Kyiv Modernism: Is a movement that unites architects, designers and activists who advocate for the protection of the remarkable Soviet modernist structures across Ukraine.
- FrankivskToCareAbout: Is a movement for the preservation of architectural heritage in the western city of Ivano-Frankivsk. Founded in 2016, the initiative renovates old wooden doors of the city’s ancient buildings.
- Svoyi: Svoyi gives free oxygen concentrators to people who contracted COVID & can’t be hospitalized due to personal circumstances or when hospitals are overflowing. It also helps those discharged too early in favour of patients in more serious conditions.
- Monsters, Inc.: This organization is based in Odesa and provides emergency medical aid to people living in the region. They also help COVID hospitals, procuring medicines and equipment.
From Ukraine’s official Twitter page
- Donate directly to the Ukrainian army. The National Bank of Ukraine has an account to raise money for their armed forced. They also accept crypto donations.