In the first 30 days of the Kremlin’s abhorrent war in Ukraine, we have mobilised more than half a million euros in support for Ukrainian civil society, independent media and Russian anti-war campaigns. The needs are huge, and so too must be our response.
It has been one month since Putin launched a brutal war on Ukraine. In that short time, millions have been displaced and thousands killed. While the world stands horrified at the Kremlin’s targeting of civilians, we are also in awe of the courage and determination with which Ukrainians are resisting on all fronts.
Ukrainian civil society and independent media have a crucial role in insuring humanitarian aid, documenting the war crimes of the invading army, and providing accurate information in a crisis.
Over the last few weeks the Centre has provided more than 518,000 euros of support to 23 partners in Ukraine, among them 8 independent media outlets and 15 civic organisations. These are our long-standing partners who before the war worked on anti-corruption, the rule of law and other initiatives to build a more just and transparent society. Now they are defending that promise. Some groups have organised their communities to source and deliver humanitarian aid. Others formed a consortium of human rights organisations that are recording dozens of cases daily of atrocities committed by Russia’s forces to present to the International Criminal Court.
Our funding to independent media has gone to core support of their operations. With the advertising market having literally vanished overnight and the need for accurate and reliable information among their audiences skyrocketing, compounded with the extreme dangers of reporting from a war zone, the challenges to Ukraine’s media have never been higher and their work is now more important than ever.
In addition to our direct support for Ukraine, we’ve dispersed more than 95,000 euros to kickstart or boost several anti-war platforms and campaigns for Russian and Belarusian audiences. After starting the war, Putin swiftly liquidated the last remnants of independent media in the country and throttled or blocked most social media platforms. The Kremlin uses its media monopoly to warmonger and state violence to smother dissent. Anti-war voices inside the country face grave risks and need our support too.
This is only the first month, and it is possible this could be a protracted war. There is still much more to be done, but Europe and the international community is united in its support for Ukraine.