Six months of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine: death and suffering on a dramatic scale

Published: Aug 24, 2022 Reading time: 3 minutes
Destroyed building in Borodianka, Kyiv oblast
© Alyona Budagovska

It has been six months since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Millions of refugees, mostly women and children, were forced to flee the country. And those who remained in Ukraine and did not go abroad had to get used to life during wartime under the constant threat of shelling and the sounds of the air raid sirens throughout Ukraine. Over the last six months, thousands of civilians have been killed, injured or maimed, including hundreds of children.

Due to the ongoing air attacks and fighting thousands of families have been separated while fleeing the war. Their houses, schools, hospitals were under the shelling. People were taking the most important things that they could carry and were leaving their homes trying to find a safe place for their families. Millions of children in Ukraine have seen their education disrupted, and face an unimaginable level of trauma after living through the horrors of the war.

"We were under occupation for seventeen days. We were sitting in the basements, hiding. There were shelling. Children were crying. They were asking for some bread. Can you imagine? Not for sweets, no, for some bread", shares Maryna, the resident of Davydky village.

The war with its constant ongoing hostilities has massively destructed civilian infrastructure and has made the life of millions of people throughout the country extremely difficult. Due to the shelling and air attacks critical services were severely disrupted, particularly access to water and health care. Besides, it severely impacted agriculture in Ukraine, leaving thousands of farmers without income and one in three families food insecure. To support people in the affected areas People in Need delivers water and food to the affected communities. 

"To buy some food, cleaning products or medicine, we need to go to Kharkiv because we don't have shops here in Mala Rohan. Now we don't have salaries because there is no work. Therefore it is necessary to save. We very much appreciate the delivery of food parcels as it helps a lot. We don't need to go outside the village so often for shopping and we can save a bit,"  says Maryna from Mala Rohan.

With the upcoming winter, the situation will get even worse. Many people live in damaged houses and the lack of access to gas or electricity in large parts of the east leads to the fact that people are concerned that they would not be able to heat their homes during cold Ukrainian winter. 

Knowing that the upcoming winter poses a huge problem because people cannot survive in houses without windows or doors and with damaged roofs, People in Need aims to repair 9,000 houses before winter so they can be heated. Thanks to the financial support of our donors, we have already provided emergency constriction materials for people whose homes were damaged due to the shelling.

According to OCHA, during the last six months humanitarians in Ukraine have assisted 12 million people. The massive scale-up of humanitarian response in Ukraine has been made possible thanks to the tireless effort of over 530 organizations—more than 60 per cent of them Ukrainian national NGOs—and the generous and timely support of donors. And this is in full complementarity to the incredible work that thousands of volunteers are doing here in the country to support people. Ukrainians are the first responders and they are truly supporting one another.

Author: Alyona Budagovska, Communications manager

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