‘Ukraine is frozen in time, February 24 2022 forever imprinted in our memories’

It has been two years since life changed for ever for the people of Ukraine. The world was shocked to see the images of destruction and chaos across my country. Nowhere was spared.

But though two years may sound like a long time, for most of us, time has stood still.

Ukraine is still feeling deeply the impacts of this conflict. People continue to live in fear of the next bombing, air raid sirens have become a part of our daily sounds.

On top of this, it is bitterly cold. More than 3.7 million people are displaced within Ukraine.

That means they are in temporary or makeshift shelters. Many people live in damaged homes. They struggle to stay warm.

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But even when the buds of spring bloom and the warm weather comes again, millions of people across Ukraine, and the millions more who have been forced to flee their country, will continue to feel frozen in time.

They have lost their loved one, their homes, all their worldly possessions. 24 February 2022, will forever be imprinted in our memories.

But we continue to respond. The outpouring of kindness from around the world has saved so many of us.

In Ukraine, I am humbled to lead the largest humanitarian response, where incredible teams of Red Cross staff and volunteers have not stopped since that fateful day.

The Ukrainian Red Cross continues to work hard to provide emergency services to those impacted by the ongoing fighting, while also supporting the recovery and reconstruction efforts in many parts of Ukraine.

This includes social care services, assistance with home repairs, small business loans, and vocational training that allows people to build on skills and retrain for new careers.

We are all trying our best to start to rebuild our lives.

Together, across Ukraine and neighbouring countries, the Red Cross Movement has supported 18 million people.

This makes me incredibly proud and gives me the inspiration I need to keep going, even during the toughest of times.

– Maksym Dotsenko is director general of the Ukrainian Red Cross Society.

More than 10 million people in Ukraine have been forced to leave their homes and 6.3 million now live in other parts of the world – about a quarter of the population.

As temperatures drop, thousands of families across the country are facing homelessness.

The British Red Cross has also supported more than 68,000 Ukrainians in the UK, including those trying to find housing or continue cancer treatment.

SOURCE

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