Four books to educate yourself + Five organizations to contribute to
With many of SustainabilityX®'s digital partners having employees working in Ukraine - now a war zone - it's more important than ever to provide support for their safety and the larger Ukrainian spirit. Many tech companies and startups having hundreds to thousands of employees in Ukraine are caught up in the complex tasks of redeploying staff to other countries amid the war — from how to keep employees safe to what mode of communication to use, to the best way to pay workers.
Companies are faced with the challenge of making sure relocated workers are set up to use local currencies, have a place to stay, and are supplied with essentials. With new developments by the hour, no one can anticipate what comes next and when the invasion will cease.
In the meanwhile, here are nine ways you can help support Ukraine in your own capacity - from educating yourself with the facts through books to directly contributing to organizations that support the safety, mental, physical, and overall wellbeing of the people in Ukraine:
To give the present a clear context, we need to look at the past. Through this curated book list, explore the events and figures that have led to the crisis between Russia and Ukraine. Find out about the events surrounding the 2014 Russia-Ukrainian War, uncover the inner-workings of the path which led to Putin's rise to office and his questionable alliances with the KGB, and—more importantly—learn how and why this conflict affects not only Europe but the rest of the world.
1. Ukraine Crisis: What It Means For The West
Ukraine Crisis (2014) by Andrew Wilson addresses the peaceful protests and violent conflicts that have rocked Ukraine in recent years. This book takes a look at the events surrounding the Maidan uprising, the Russian annexation of Crimea, and the ongoing conflict in the Donbas. Importantly, the crisis is put into context not just for the future of Ukraine but also how it affects Russia, the European Union, and the world.
2. The Man Without A Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin
A biography of Russian President Vladimir Putin by Masha Gessen, The Man Without A Face shines a clear light on one of contemporary history’s more shadowy political figures. The book charts Putin’s almost accidental rise to Russia’s highest office, starting from his benign beginnings in the state secret police. His vindictive personality, overwhelming greed, and disdain for democratic norms continue to transform Russia today.
3. Putin's People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took On the West
Putin’s People (2020) by Catherine Belton is a shocking account of the corruption and political schemes that swirl around Russia’s infamous president, Vladimir Putin, and his close inner circle. The KGB is well-known as the former Soviet Union’s secret police force – but that was far from its only role in the Soviet government and economy. This is the story of how the KGB lost its power, gained it back, and has been exploiting it ever since.
4. The Road To Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America
The Road to Unfreedom (2018) by Timothy Snyder chronicles the extraordinary political age we are now living in. Russian expansionism, led by Vladimir Putin, threatens to encroach on the freedoms that people in Europe and America enjoy. After having successfully helped to bring about Brexit, the Kremlin set its gaze on the United States and, in doing so, played a central role in ushering in the Donald Trump presidency. And with Europe in the midst of a right-wing ascendancy, Russia is wielding a greater influence than ever before.
HAVE YOU READ?
Contribute To The Cause
Donate to organizations that support the safety, mental, physical, and overall well-being of the people in Ukraine. Collectively, we can make an impact and reinforce the Ukrainian spirit while they fight for the survival of their freedom and rights. Please note you should do your own assessment of the organizations below prior to making a donation.
Razom was born out of the Revolution of Dignity in 2014 when millions of people worked together and risked their lives to build a pathway to a better future for Ukraine. Maidan successfully cleared the path for new leadership and reforms that inspired countless citizens to get involved in the process. Soon after, in an effort to stifle and punish Ukraine’s progress, Russia invaded and annexed Crimea and began a war in Eastern Ukraine that it continues to fund and sustain today. With such conditions, some might think the odds are stacked against Ukraine, but Razom is here to break that narrative. Every day Razom sees individuals and organizations working to create opportunities and a better future for themselves and their communities. Their mission is to help accelerate their individual and collective contributions through projects that unlock Ukraine’s potential and build toward a more prosperous, democratic nation.
2. Nova Ukraine
Nova Ukraine is a 501(c)3 registered non-profit organization (EIN 465335435) dedicated to raising awareness about Ukraine in the US and throughout the world and providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine. We work closely with non-profits and volunteers focused on helping Ukraine. We organize fundraisers, meetings with Ukrainian celebrities, round table discussions dedicated to Ukraine and Ukrainian culture, and participate in various cultural events. Since December 2013 we have collected over $3.5M in donations.
The Foundation stands with the Ukrainian Armed Forces by funding purely defensive initiatives. Since 2014, Come Back Alive has supplied nearly 1,000 thermal scopes and over 250 reconnaissance drones. Along with this material support, they’ve supported technological advancements with 1,500 tablets containing «Armor» artillery calculation software.
Come Back Alive also conducts training to give Ukrainian troops broader skill sets. Since 2015, they’ve introduced courses for medical care workers, artillerymen, snipers, sappers, and defense analysts. After arriving home from the front line of defense, troops receive support with sports rehabilitation and the development of veteran-run businesses.
The organization does not use funds to buy weaponry - Come Back Alive's mission is purely to supply technology, training, and ammunition to help save the lives of Ukrainians and help soldiers defend Ukraine.
As the security situation allows, the ICRC is responding to urgent humanitarian needs and must be able to continue their life-saving work. ICRC water engineers and doctors aim to help more than 3 million people access clean water and improve the living conditions of more than 66,000 whose homes have been damaged by heavy fighting.
The International Committee of the Red Cross - together with its partners in the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – remains active in Ukraine, saving and protecting the lives of victims of armed conflict and violence. Their neutral and impartial humanitarian action supports the most vulnerable people: humanitarian needs are enormous, but together we can address them.
It is dismaying that after enduring eight years of conflict, people now face more violence, pain, loss, and turmoil. Fear, freezing temperatures, and an uncertain future are what families in Ukraine are facing. Donations will make a huge difference to families in need right now.
NBU has opened a multi-currency fundraising account for humanitarian assistance to Ukrainians affected by Russia's aggression. The account is meant for charity contributions from Ukraine and from abroad. The Ministry of Social Policy will channel the raised funds to support Ukraine’s citizens severely affected by the war.
“Russian aggression deprived thousands of Ukrainians of their home, money, clothes, food, and other basic things. However, Ukraine and the rest of the world would not leave them alone with their grief. Financial support keeps coming both from the citizens of our country and from abroad. To streamline the inflows of funds as humanitarian aid to Ukrainians affected by the war, the NBU has opened an account for the Ministry of Social Policy to accumulate charitable contributions for social needs in wartime. Unlike the special account that has been opened to finance the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, money from this account will be used to help those hardest hit by the war with Russia,” said NBU's Governor Kyrylo Shevchenko.
Money transferred to this account will be used by the Ministry of Social Policy to:
Provide food and shelter for refugees and citizens that have been displaced due to military conflict
Provide clothing, shoes, and medicine for them
Buy staple goods for the population
Pay out one-off financial aid
Meet other essential needs of the population.
Since this account accepts multiple currencies, it has been established and opened to receive transfers from international partners and donors both in foreign currency (U.S. dollars, euros, British pounds) and from Ukrainian businesses & citizens in hryvnias.
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