One month of the war in Ukraine. What's next?

Dear friends,
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 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 (ru) channels.

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:

All the best,
Save the lives of people in Ukraine!
Fundraiser for medicines and medical equipment
We are announcing a fundraiser for medicines and medical equipment for people in Kyiv and the regions of Kyiv, Mykolaiv and Odesa in support of our partner Ukraine without Waste!

Until the war, Ukraine without Waste has been engaged in recycling and promoting sustainable consumption. A month ago, the founder of the organization, Evgenia Aratovskaya, stopped her work and directed all resources to support the medical care for Ukrainian army and civilians. Evgenia gave us a list of medicines and equipment that are difficult to buy or simply not available in Ukraine but are urgently needed for the treatment of wounded and chronically ill.

Procurement and transportation will be handled by the Ukrainian association in Berlin Vitsche, with which we have been cooperating since the beginning of the war.

Donations can be made via bank transfer* or via Paypal. Find all the details on our website

*We do not recommend making donations from Russian bank accounts due to safety reasons.
How to launch and promote an online campaign?
Online training *today* with Greenpeace
We invite you to the training session “How to launch and promote an online campaign?” with Elena Makurina, the Head of Visual Solutions at Greenpeace Russia, on 1 April at 12:00 MSK. The event takes place within our program Innovate for Change and will be held in Russian.

The training has been postponed due to the outbreak of war. Together with Elena, we decided to adapt the content of the training according to the new circumstances civil society and social enterprises in Russia are now facing whilst focusing on basics of media campaigns. The training will cover topics related to media campaigns, target audiences, visual tools as well as media plans. Please register here.