Crisis in Ukraine Update
After 91 days of fighting, the war continues in Ukraine with no end in sight. Millions of Ukrainians, including tens of thousands of Jews, have fled the country, many to Israel. Jewish Federations and our partners continue to work together to ensure that urgent relief reaches the neediest.
- Fighting continues in Ukraine’s east, as Russian forces try to take control of more territory there. According to media reports, Russia is attempting to encircle two cities in the area, Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, which straddle a key river. Taking control of these two important targets would mean Russia would be closer to its goal of controlling the whole of the Luhansk region. One American defense official noted that while Russia invaded Ukraine on three fronts, it has failed to capture the country’s two largest cities (Kyiv and Kharkiv) and is now focusing its attack almost exclusively on Ukraine's eastern regions.
- As reports of atrocities mount, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the launch of a new joint UK, EU and US group to help support efforts of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General (OPG) to document war crimes and other outrages committed in Ukraine. The new mechanism, called the Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group (ACA), will “provide strategic advice and operational assistance to the War Crimes Units of the OPG, the legally constituted authority responsible for prosecuting war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine," Blinken said.
- In a controversial move trying to solidify Russian gains, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree simplifying the process for residents of newly captured Ukrainian districts to acquire Russian citizenship and passports.
- According to the UN Human Rights Council, some 6.64 million refugees have fled Ukraine since the beginning of fighting. More than 2.12 million refugees who initially fled Ukraine have since returned. Of those leaving:
- Poland has taken in 3,544,995 refugees
- Romania 972,203
- Russia 945,007
- Hungary 654,664
- Moldova 473,690
- Slovakia 446,755
- Belarus 27,308
REFUGEES, FEDERATIONS, AND PARTNERS ON THE GROUND
Jewish Federations continue to raise money for Ukraine relief efforts, and have collectively raised more than $62 million since the fighting began - triple the amount of the initial goal of the Ukraine emergency campaign, launched on February 24th, 2022, the day that war broke out. Click here to see a presentation about the allocations process for these funds. Through both directed and collective grant making, Federations are supporting over 46 NGO’s that are operating on the ground in Ukraine and neighboring countries, including Jewish Federation partners, The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), and World ORT; as well as United Hatzalah, Hillel International, Nefesh B'Nefesh, HIAS, the Israel Trauma Coalition, Hadassah Medical Organization, Chabad, Shma Yisrael, Project Kesher, JCC Krakow, Jewish Community Vienna, the Emergency Volunteer Program and others.
The United States announced that 100,000 Ukrainians will be approved to come to the United States and families and organizations are looking to support them and the thousands of Ukrainians who are already in the country. In the coming weeks, Jewish Federations will guide potential sponsors through the process, providing all the information and resources needed for approval to participate in the program, match with the Ukrainians who need help, and provide the knowledge and training needed to support Ukrainian resettlement including volunteer coordination, resources, services and access to basic necessities and government benefits. JFNA will hold a webinar to discuss these efforts next Thursday, June 2nd at 3:00 PM Eastern on Sponsoring Ukrainian Refugees.
Federations continue to run a volunteer hub in support of refugees fleeing Ukraine in partnership with the Jewish Agency, JDC and IsraAID. To volunteer for this program (please note that only those who speak Russian and/or Ukrainian are being selected at this time), click here.
To donate to this critical effort please click here.