Absolute tldr: Pleased donate to Ukrainian charities! If unsure which one, pick Come Back Alive
This is Yurii, co-founder and CTO of LinkPeak and this will not be a polished corporate blog post.
You may or may not know this, but LinkPeak is a Ukrainian 🇺🇦 company. Right now, we are more than a year into the ongoing full-scale genocidal russian invasion. This is a total war waged on us for no reason other than imperial ambitions by our crazy neighbor.
A recent video of russians using a lot of incendiary munitions on Bakhmut, essentially trying to burn the entire district of the city, filmed by Ukrainian Special Forces squad’s drone
The war has come at a horrendous human cost. As of this week, we have documented that more than 8,000 civilians have been killed and almost 14,000 injured. More than 90 per cent were caused by missiles, explosive weapons or mines and explosive remnants of war. The actual figures are unfortunately considerably higher. — UN Human Rights Ukraine released reports on treatment of prisoners of war and overall human rights situation in Ukraine (23 Mar 2023)
I am a frequent donor myself, all my friends donate to our cause and Ukrainian civilians inside Ukraine will probably think they plain have no choice but to donate to our guys at the frontline.
As a person who also raises money, I can say that Ukrainians give away their last money so their friends can have essential gear like drones (small and big), pickup trucks, so their friends at the frontline have warm clothes in winter (those tend to wear faster than any MoD can expect), so our defenders can have helmets and bulletproof vests replaced faster than any base clerk can copy a paper on which a request for a new one was make, sign it and send to the warehouse.
Small-scale volunteer efforts are essential in how we’re fighting this war. I invite you participate in our traditional way of spending money and I’ve gathered a list of Twitter accounts I personally recommend you follow and donate to.
- 🇺🇦 Yevhen Lyr
Raises money and coordinates buying pickup trucks in numbers. At the moment of me writing this, 157 trucks were delivered to the soldiers of multiple brigades and save a lot of lives.
- Serhii Sternenko ✙
An established activist and volunteer. One of the biggest content creators in Ukraine. Ofc he does fundraisers.
- Kateryna Halushka
Communications Officer of the AFU, Combat Medic at “Hospitaliers” battalion. I will mention the Hospitaliers again as an organization later in this post. You can also find a lot more people that serve in the Hospitaliers battalion through this account and all of them are beautiful people who will either raise themselves or retweet their friends raising.
- Alina Mykhailova
Elected representative in the Kyiv City Council who also serves in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. One of the most competent people around.
- Правоберегиня and Pavlo Bondarenko
These accounts have some of the most active fundraisers, which cover weekly needs of units that request help. These are your people if you want detailed reports in Excel sheets and lots of pictures for proof 😀
- пан шаміль
This person is raising for a very important cause of supporting wounded veterans. This is a very overlooked need. We have a lot of wounded in this war and a lot of them can recover, given enough timely care and support. You can contribute to that by donating to his fundraisers.
- позивний Туча (екс жовта пляма)
Serviceman of the Dnipro Territorial Defense. In my world, this says enough. But Territorial Defense guys are generally yesterday’s civilians who volunteered to defend their hometown and their country. In lots of cases, they are first responders, they hold positions until heavier forces arrive and in some cases these light infantry units beat russians alone.
This Crimean Tatar woman does fundraising for the Crimea battalion. She has one of the smaller accounts but the Crime battalion are very humble and very trustworthy guys you will hear a lot about in the future, probably.
I can go on forever, but actually I don’t have to. You can read this Twitter thread and find out about a lot of things that are just out of scope of this article AND it also has very handy long list of local Ukrainian volunteers.
The process here is not that simple but I wanted to highlight these people and the process anyway as it is very important and arguably more important than donating to big charities as this is how you provide the most help for the least money in the most immediate way.
I suggest you do it like this:
- Follow the accounts, mb put them on the list on Twitter.
- Read them for a while, see what they are putting up, what they are talking about, see the pictures, see the people, become inspired by what they do on a daily basis. See all the reports with the soldiers that received the stuff these people helped raise money for, buy and deliver to the very frontline.
- Follow more people you see that these profiles interact with and expand your view of what’s at stake and how big our effort here is. You are not and should not be limited by my list.
- Eventually, you will see a fundraiser. I’d say, you’ll see a fundraiser immediately but you will probably be reluctant to send money to a complete stranger, but I bet that after seeing their work, you’ll be happy to donate 🥰
I also understand that many of you are concerned with credibility of these small volunteer efforts. Everybody here understands.
That’s why a lot of people though of establishing NGOs, providing not only locals, but you an additional layer of credibility via the most transparent reporting you will ever see in the world because we Ukrainians are a very nitpicky bunch.
Each of these are well established and provide our military support at a scale that’s unprecedented for the world. All these coordinate to not overlap and provide help on a slightly longer time scale.
- Come Back Alive
These guys are the biggest Ukrainian military charity. They helped modernize our Armed Forces before the full-scale invasion of russia and now they are delivering amazing amounts of supplies: pickup trucks, regular trucks, winged drones, communication devices, and much more.
They are probably the biggest ever buyer on an military and dual-use markets that is not a state. They are established experts in their fields who communicate with the General Staff, MoD and GUR regualrly and try to answer the biggest challenges they face as fast as possible.
- Serhiy Prytula Charity Foundation
Second most established charity. Serhiy Prytula is a very well known Ukrainian TV host and his foundation was established, like previous one, also before the full-scale invasion. These people were among the first (if I remember correctly) to start setting up Starlink terminals for the Army.
Most of I can see, their true specialty is vehicles: be it civilian vanilla pickup trucks and buses or Spartan Infantry Fighting Vehicles, or Bayraktars - they were the first charity here to start fundraising for a Bayraktar TB-2 drone.
- The Hospitaliers
These people are volunteer group that does front line evacuations and medical care (meaning they are not paid by the Ukrainian government and have no social or other protection as combatants!) The Hospitaliers have been around since the very start of the Russia-Ukrainian war in 2014 and they are truly a professional evacuation force at this point. They operate entirely from donated money, all gear, vehicles, medical supplies — all donated to them. I highly encourage you to donate to them at least once in your life as your donation will most certainly save a life or two.
- Dzyga’s Paw
If Prytula Foundation started it, these guys are continuing. Their help is not at all limited to it, but they are known for providing and covering the expenses of running the Starlink Terminals.
Assuming you don’t know yet: Elon Musk doesn’t provide Starlink for free for Ukraine. You have to order the terminal for the full price and pay for a subscription. And Starlink subscription in Ukraine costs more than in other countries.
Please read an excellent thread by Dimko Zhluktenko, the founder of Dzyga’s Paw on the topic.
- Liberty Ukraine Foundation
This one is a Ukrainian diaspora foundation that does provide a lot of help to people in Ukraine. As are everyone, these guys do a lot of things, but also they have launched a production facility that sews thermal baselayers in Ukraine. This not only helps keep soldiers warm in the cold Ukrainian winter, it gives citizens who have lost their livelihood due to the war a way to make a living! How cool is that?
I saved this one for last because it is the Ukrainian Government official charity for the outside world. This doesn’t mean they are bad or participate in anything shady as all governments usually do — a lot is at stake, we can’t afford that. They do good transparency reports.
Also, this is the foundation you want to donate to if you’re more about serious humanitarian aid like these brigdes that were build thanks to donations to U24. While other charities also provide humanitarian help for civilians, U24 is the one that has the ability to zoom out and see the needs literally on a government scale.
The guys are very professional in communication too.
We here continue to not only successfully fighting russia, the country the whole Western world feared since the 50s, revealing them as a paper tiger, but also we, civilians, continue working, continue making things, using every last Hryvnia we have to spare to fund our struggle.
You can’t go wrong with any of the options I mentioned. The only thing that is equal to death is inaction.
I thus urge you to donate to any Ukrainian charity you like.
Thank you for spending time reading this to the end, we really appreciate your attention on our struggle 💛💙