A lifestyle expat travel blog about culture, history, Brexit, the Royal Family, travels around the world, Europe, and being British in Berlin!
I’m sure that you are aware.
As most of the world is.
That in the very early hours of February 24th, 2022
Now let that sink in.
Now I’ve been to Ukraine.
In fact, The Tall Young Gentleman and I went there, just before the pandemic
In the Autumn of 2019!
I hadn’t even planned to travel to Ukraine initially!
I had only planned to travel to Poland!
But as I was going to be in Poland anyway and was looking for a new destination, I remembered that Ukraine was just around the corner so to speak, and added it in!
I had never been to Ukraine before, so I decided to focus on just two cities:
Lviv. Or Lwów, Lvov or Lemberg!
And Kiev. Or Kyiv!
I’m not new to Eastern Europe as I go there a lot.
However, I chose to visit Ukraine simply because I had heard mixed impressions about the country, and I wanted to see it for myself!
We were delighted at how fantastic Lviv was and happily shocked at how Kyiv retained both aspects of modernity through it’s tall glass buildings and capital-city business, while at the same time every side-street or corner, had a jumble of historical buildings or a magnificent Orthodox Church!
We loved it.
We loved the fact that as both strangers and people of colour, the local Ukrainian people went out of their way to help us.
Many a time, they asked if we needed help when I couldn’t match the Roman numbers on my phone to the Cyrillic script on the street in Lviv.
Or when we couldn’t find the apartment that we had booked in Kyiv because the instructions of how to get the code (in order to get the apartment keys), were all in Ukrainian!
In fact, pretty much all the neighbours came out to help.
They rang the apartment agent on our behalf, showed us how to get and use the code via a system I had never seen before, helped us with our luggage in the old-style elevator, and practically showed us around the apartment that didn’t belong to them, and gave us supper!
We often went to restaurants where we couldn’t read what was written, but the images looked good, and the prices were so low that we kept ordering bowls of soup and side-dishes of we-didn’t-know-what, so that we could taste and experience everything!
The waiters didn’t understand what we were doing, but went with it anyway!
The Ukrainian people were open.
The Ukrainian people were friendly.
The Ukrainian people were nice.
Their cities were wow!
They didn’t deserve this.
This invasion was utterly unprovoked.
And the implications are dire.
I live in Germany.
I know exactly what the significance of Russia invading Ukraine could be.
We all do.
So what actually happened in simple terms …
Russia had been moving and deploying weapons, within striking distance of Ukraine.
Sadly, nobody was in the least surprised, as Russia had been doing this for months!
What was surprising however, was the speed in which discussions over whether according to Vladimir Putin, Ukraine should be permanently barred from ever joining NATO – the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and thus prevented from leaning further to the West (Europe / USA), rather than to the East (Russia), moved swiftly from talk and diplomacy to Russia’s recognition of self-proclaimed republics in Luhansk and Donetsk, and thus the means to force Russian soldiers and tanks into an illegal carving of Ukraine!
It’s far more complicated than that of course, but this blog is not about politics but my personal connection with where I go and what I do, so I’ve tried to simplify it as best I can!
For better details and information, and a complete guide of Russia’s war in Ukraine, plus maps, videos and pictures:
So, what can YOU do to help?
It’s devastating to see scenes of horror, fear and destruction on Europe’s border – in Ukraine – a country not that far away, and roughly just 800 kms / 497.09695 miles from Germany’s border with Poland!
It’s natural to worry about friends and family in Ukraine.
I’m a little worried myself, but please don’t go there.
You’ll only get in the way and cause even more worry, for those you leave behind.
There are other tangible ways that we can support the people of Ukraine.
Please read the other tabs.
Most of the victims desperately need medicine, first aid kits, toiletries, food, clothing, sleeping bags, thermal clothing and radio sets, but you should contact local organisations in order to find out how to do this, as logistics is an issue.
Send what is really needed, not what you think is needed.
If in doubt, send to local organisations in your country, not in Ukraine!
Having said that, most charities would rather you sent cash donations instead, because funding can be sent to the areas that need them, and they don’t always have the capacity to accept donations in kind, or can be too overwhelmed by the large amounts sent in all at once!
Contact the organisations below:
For more details on how you can help the German-Ukrainian organisation. Donate here
It’s in German, so you might need to translate a few words!
Keyword: “Ukraine Nothilfe” (Ukraine Emergency Aid). Donate here
The Hoffnungstaler Stiftung Lobeta / the Ukraine-Hilfe Lobetal / the Ukraine-Hilfe Association, is a charitable organisation that uses Ukrainian drivers to transport aid supplies to where they are needed, and is supported by the Humboldt Forum in Berlin.
Keyword: “Ukraine Nothilfe” or “Ukraine Emergency Aid.” Donate here
Yes, I can.
Most charities would rather you sent cash donations, because funding can be sent to the areas that need them, and they don’t always have the capacity to accept donations in kind, or can be too overwhelmed by the large amounts sent in all at once!
Please be careful when sending cash donations, and double-check that the organisation or charity is legitimate as sadly, scammers have taken advantage of the war.
Here are some respectable /official organisations:
The Ukrianian Red Cross aims to protect people during armed conflicts, natural disasters, catastrophes and accidents, as well as support medical services in Ukraine. Donate here
The German Red Cross raises funds for disaster relief operations and its international development work abroad.
Keyword: “Emergency Relief Ukraine.” Donate here
Nova Ukraine is a non-profit organization that provides humanitarian aid to vulnerable groups and individuals in Ukraine. Donate here!
For more details on how you can help the German-Ukrainian organisation. Donate here.
It’s in German, so you might need to translate a few words!
Keyword: “Ukraine Nothilfe” or “Ukraine Emergency Aid.” Donate here
UNICEF is repairing schools damaged by the bombings and providing an emergency response to children affected by the conflict. Donate here
The National Bank of Ukraine has decided to open a special fundraising account to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Donate here
To support Ukrainian journalism, and keep Ukraine’s media going. Donate here
To support journalists in Ukraine. Keyword: “Ukraine.”- Donate here
Caritas International is a Catholic welfare organisation that undergoes international relief.
Keyword: “Nothilfe Ukraine-Krieg.” Donate here
The UNO Flüchtlingshilfe / UN Refugee Agency, is the German partner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). It’s mission is to aid and protect refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people, and to assist in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country. Donate here
People in Need provides immediate aid to people in need in the event of natural disaster or wartime crisis. Donate here.
The International Medical Corps is in-country and provides emergency care to vulnerable civilians fleeing war. Donate here
CARE is an organisation dedicated to ending poverty and supporting the Ukraine Crisis Fund with immediate aid and recovery, for food, water, hygiene kits, and therapy, especially for women, girls, families, and the elderly. Donate here
OutRight is the only global LGBTIQ organization that advocates for human rights and equality for LGBTIQ people at the United Nations Headquarters (UN). It also supports organizations inside and outside Ukraine, who can support LGBTIQ on the ground, provide shelter and help keep everyone safe. Donate here
Save the Children is concerned for children caught in the middle of armed conflict, forced from their homes in freezing temperatures, and exposed to injury, hunger and cold.
It also supports the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund to provide immediate aid and recovery, for food, water, hygiene kits, and therapy for children. Donate here
SOS Children’s Villages is on the ground in Ukraine, working tirelessly to keep children and families safe in Ukraine and surrounding countries in Europe. Donate here
The World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation Health Emergency Appeal for Ukraine, supports and delivers urgent healthcare to people across Ukraine, and refugees in neighbouring countries affected by this crisis. Donate here
If you have any spare room in your home or are going away for a short time, there are various ways to offer it to refugees from the Ukraine.
#Unterkunft Ukraine helps to connect refugees with any private rooms that can be offered, for a duration of at least two weeks. For more information, click here
If you are upset about the invasion of Ukraine, write or tweet to your local member of parliament (MP) and let them know.
Ask them to represent you – and use their/your voice to Stand Up For Ukraine.
That’s what they’re there for.
If you’re still at a loss, read this: 25 Meaningful Ways You Can Help Ukraine!
What more do you need to know?
Follow The British Berliner on Twitter!Tweet
We have to offer as much support as we can to Ukraine, while walking the delicate path of not provoking Russia to declare war, and an outright attack on our neighbours.
We have to stand with Ukraine.
p.s If you’re booking hotels, houses and apartments, use this link to save 15% or more, before 30 January, 2023!
That’s it for now.
Thank you so much everyone. I really appreciate it lots.
All content will continue to remain free of charge but if you feel like buying me a cup of tea, I will graciously accept!
Don’t forget, please SHARE this post!
When we went to Ukraine!Tweet
If you want to keep up with reliable news on what’s going on around the world, you can follow me here.
If you want to write your own blog, here’s my link to a $25 or €25 discount in credit with any paid plan with WordPress. Don’t say that I don’t give you anything!
And book your luxury hotel for 2022 right here!
Don’t judge me!
This article is not sponsored but by all means, go ahead and use any of my links on the side bar!
It’s almost March!
Please note that The British Berliner is a participant in affiliate programmes designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by advertising and linking to Booking.com
In short, every time a Booking.com service is used, booked, and paid for via my link, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!
A win-win for all!
So what are you waiting for?
Thanks a million!
See you in Berlin.
If you have any questions, send me a Tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on LinkedIn, make a comment below or send me an Email: email@example.com
If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or Like it!
Pingback: Spreewald - A Day Trip from Berlin! - The British Berliner
What’s up, man. I appreciate the website and pictures and experience you’ve shared. I just wanted to make one comment. I noticed you said that the invasion of Ukraine was unprovoked and I do disagree with that. Besides what’s been going on for the past 8 or so years in eastern Ukraine the West has been building up the Ukrainian military for many years now and they have or had maybe now past tense one of the largest militaries in Europe. A buildup a military power ride along with Russian’s border by the West is seen by Russia as an existential threat. It would be the same as Russia building up Mexico’s military. The United States would perceive that as an existential threat and would not hesitate to invade the country to eliminate that threat. This war is far more complicated and good guys versus bad guys etc I appreciate your time and thanks again for the website God bless you
Thank you for your nice comment on my blog Brian.
I agree that issues are far more complicated than you and I can ever fathom. I have a BSc. in Political Science so I’m very much aware of the background story. However, I still stand by my statement “the invasion of Ukraine was unprovoked” and what I mean by this is that no independent nation should have the right to just roll army tanks into another independent country, when the nations in dispute were not officially “at war.”
Pingback: The BBC came to Berlin! - The British Berliner
Pingback: €9.00 travel tickets through Germany! - The British Berliner
Pingback: Best of Eastern Europe. In my opinion! - The British Berliner