a month ago we suspended our work after Russia started a war against Ukraine. There was no point in continuing the dialogue on sustainable development and trainings on social innovation at a time when cities are being being bombed, civilians are being killed, infrastructure is being destroyed, and a sovereign state is being threatened with occupation. Our colleagues, partners and friends in Ukraine send us videos and pictures of the destruction in the yards of Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Kyiv and Kherson. According to the UN's most conservative estimates, at least 1.189 civilians have died
in a month of war. The siege of Mariupol has resulted in a humanitarian catastrophe. There is practically no communication with the city and we have yet to learn the real scale of the tragedy. We are shocked by the brutality, hatred and cruelty with which Vladimir Putin is waging war against a neighboring state. Russia has also dragged Belarus into its cynical adventure. Both states have continued the course of repression against the media and civil society to silence people about war crimes and unprecedented human rights violations.
More than 10 million Ukrainian women and men have fled their homes. An estimated 6.5 million of them have been displaced within the country, moving to the still calm areas of Ukraine. Around 4 million have left Ukraine, mostly for EU countries. Our colleagues are on duty at railway stations, looking for accommodation and helping Polish initiatives in the border town of Przemyśl. It is already clear that this is the biggest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.
Two weeks ago, we helped our first partners from Kyiv with their relocation. Recently, we found a flat for another colleague and are now helping her to move to Berlin with her family and children. The state system is not coping well, there are not enough Ukrainian and Russian-speaking staff and volunteers, so consolidation of civil society with the state and business is extremely important now. We try to provide all kinds of support, advice on paperwork and employment. Our organization has already created two new jobs for refugees
from Ukraine. And in our office, free German language courses will start soon.We oppose the Russian aggression at rallies
and demand an immediate end to the war and the withdrawal of all Russian troops from Ukraine! We support the statement of our colleagues from the Coalition for Sustainable Development of Russia
and call on the Russian government to return to fulfilling its commitments under the adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development! We created the portal stop-the-war.world
where we collect data from international organizations about war victims and translate the information into 4 languages. There you can also find information about fundraising, campaigns by our partners and resources to support people in need. Subscribe also to our Instagram
(en/de) and Telegram
We are not yet sure whether it is appropriate to consider development scenarios in the context of the SDGs at this time. After adjusting the objectives and methods, we will continue to work in the new circumstances. What we can say for sure now is that we will be monitoring the military situation, researching the humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine and examining changes in the strategies of states and civil societies in the post-Soviet space. Monitoring, research, advocacy and cooperation within the UN, the EU and international coalitions will form the basis of our new, long-term SDG Watch Eastern Europe programme that we will launch soon. If you are conducting research or campaigns, would like to join our work, monitor your region, or have other ideas and projects along similar lines, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
All the best,