The events of the last 3 days have had us at Baks Osteopathy (and indeed the world) concerned about those who will suffer most in the Russian Invasion of Ukraine, and what we can do about it.
Phil Wise has a few suggestions.
Russian Invasion of Ukraine: first a note about how I feel
I suppose I should say something before we start about the tone of my writing, it is a tad emotional, and that’s not really in keeping with the normal professional approach of me as an Osteopath. For that I can only say that I apologise if this offends anybody, but I do think there comes a time when things need to be said from the heart and not with a political tongue.
I also realise that in writing this article and posting on our own website and social media accounts, that I run the risk of being shouted at for our own political views not being welcome, or possibly even worse.
However, I would imagine that the only people likely to shout abuse at me are supporters of dictator Putin and to be quite frank with you, I really couldn’t care less what they think – so it doesn’t really matter.
Please understand that we at Baks Osteopathy have zero disagreement with the general Russian population, many who have been suppressed for decades and are in need of help themselves to overthrow Putin. All we want is for dictator Putin and his henchmen to end the illegal occupation of Ukraine, and for the lives of Ukrainians and Russians to return to a peaceful normality.
Dictator Putin’s ‘support’ for his actions
The situation is fluid as news always is, but let’s briefly look at a couple of areas of ‘support’ for dictator Vladimir Putin and his actions at the time of writing.
- His own people in Russia, are taking to the streets in demonstrations not seen since the Navalny protests where so many innocent protestors were brutally attacked by Russian police – their own people.
- The 24/22/22 Twitter feed of Kings College London Professor of Politics, Sam Greene provides some chilling reading, but also some hope of a ‘rising up’ of Russia’s people to overthrow their crazed dictator:
So, not a lot of support for him there then is there. I’m sure there are some who agree with their dictator, but sadly I suspect their motives may well be self preservation, rather than true loyalty to his ’cause’.
If we take a look at some recently released figures, the outlook for Ukraine’s military and their ability to defend themselves against the might of the much larger and superiorly equipped Russian army, things do look a little bleak for Ukraine when viewed superficially as they definitely appear to be quite heavily outnumbered.
|Regular armed Forces||361,000||900,000|
|Defence Budget (2020) approx.||$4.3 billion||$43 billion|
It should be remembered however that ever since Putin invaded and stole the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 (when Ukraine didn’t have a militarily capable army in Crimea to defend it), the Ukrainians have been preparing/training and equipping themselves and accepting the generous donations of military equipment support from various countries, including the U.K..
Ukraine can still fight back – and win
The Ukrainian army have also gained experience in the east of their country trying to fight against the Russian army, oops terribly sorry, I mean “Russian-backed rebels” that have been trying to take control of it since 2014, so there is still hope that the Ukrainian strength and resolve will end up defeating Putin and his henchmen. Remember that the Russian army was defeated once already by a much smaller country when they tried to invade Georgia in 2008.
The brewing humanitarian crisis is now happening
All military facts aside, we need to talk about the humanitarian crisis that has already begun, with over 100,000 people so far displaced from their homes, their lives and in many cases their loved ones, the situation is becoming dire for many. This figure is estimated by some to grow to anywhere between 1,000,000 – 5,000,000 people. These people will need food, shelter, toiletries and medical supplies at the very least and clothing for their children too.
Russian Invasion of Ukraine: how we can all help
At least 100,000+ people (at the time of writing) are in need of our assistance – what can we all do to help them?
Well obviously I can’t tell YOU what to do – but I can tell you what WE are going to be doing about it and you can either decide to follow our example with the link provided, follow another link amongst the selection of links which have been vetted by journalists/ones listed near the end of this article or find a charity of your own choosing that is going to provide the support where it’s needed most, or do nothing, whatever suits you best.
Baks Osteopathy’s pledge of help to the Ukrainian people
So here is what we are going to do to try and help the people of Ukraine who are displaced because of this illegal war.
Baks Osteopathy are donating 5% of our total gross turnover for the month of March to the Red Cross Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Appeal and will monitor the situation with an aim to repeat this monthly until the conflict resolves. Yes, this means we will have to cut back a bit and tighten our belts, but we do still have our lives and loved ones around us, and we are still in our own home – we are the lucky ones.
What can YOU do?
We can all contribute, whether you’re a child who wants to donate his or her pocket money for the month, or an office worker who wants to donate their mid-morning Latte costs for the month. If you can’t/don’t want to do it for a whole month, it doesn’t matter as anything you can give helps, so just do what you can afford and then tonight you can go to sleep in your nice comfortable bed knowing that you are one of the people who has given these victims of war a hot meal, shelter, some clothing and medical supplies that maybe even saved their life.
If you want to do more, then you could always make a donation which is equivalent to at least 1% of your monthly income, which lets face it, unless you’re on the poverty line, you can most likely afford.
Whatever it is, be certain that the mothers, fathers, children, aunts, uncles and grandparents who are most in need would love to have your support – this is what we CAN do to help them, so let’s all try and do what we can.
Please don’t forget, if you are in poverty yourself and unable to help personally, you CAN still help. Considering the lobbying of your local council or the company you work for and ask for their assistance if at all possible. We can all make a difference in Ukraine, if we try.
1. Medical Supplies and Humanitarian Aid
- United Nations Ukraine Humanitarian Fund
- Nova Ukraine, a Ukraine-based nonprofit, provides citizens with everything from baby food and hygiene products, to clothes and household supplies. Donate here.
- People in Need is providing humanitarian aid to over 200,000 people on the ground. For those most in need, they provide food packages, emergency shelter, safe access to drinking water, hygiene items, and coal for heating. Donate here.
- The Ukrainian Red Cross does loads of humanitarian work, from aiding refugees to training doctors. Donate here.
- International Medical Corps is on the front lines and prepared to help citizens with emergency health care services, as well as mental health and psychosocial support. The agency is also keeping the pandemic top of mind throughout the crisis by priotitizing COVID-19 awareness and prevention services, to help keep displaced citizens safe from the pandemic. Donate here.
- CARE International is responding to the crisis by providing Ukrainians in need with food, hygeine kits, psychosocial support services, access to water, and access to cash. Donate here.
2. Helping Children Affected by War
UNICEF Ukraine is repairing schools damaged by the bombings and providing an emergency response to children affected by the conflict. Donate here.
3. Supporting Journalism
The Kyiv Independentdescribes itself as “created by journalists who were fired from the Kyiv Post for defending editorial independence.” You can help keep the curtains up for the independent Ukrainian English-language media outlet by donating to its Patreon or GoFundMe fundraiser. Ukraine World is an independent English-language multimedia project that emerged from a volunteer initiative helping international journalists during the 2014 “Revolution of Dignity.” Support it by donating to its Patreon
Thank you for reading this and for supporting Ukraine in its time of need. Please spread the word, share the blog or just share the links that you use and support, we can all make a difference – today.