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Humanitarian Stories from Ukraine

An ongoing crisis

Ukraine was the center of the first eastern Slavic state, Kyivan Rus, which was the most powerful state in Europe during the 10th and 11th centuries. Since then, it has been going through changes every couple of years, but unfortunately, it has failed to achieve stability. For the last years, it has faced conflict going on to date.

A brief history of Ukraine

Ukrainian territory was absorbed by the Russian Empire piece by piece in the 1800s. Following the collapse of czarist Russia in 1917, the country achieved a short-lived period of independence until 1920. It was quickly reconquered and endured a Soviet rule that engineered two forced famines and a devastating WW II. Although Ukraine achieved final independence in 1991 with the dissolution of the USSR, democracy and prosperity remained elusive to the unstable country.

President Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula shortly after the departure of President Yanukovych back in February 2014. Russia claimed the invasion was because he wanted to protect ethnic Russians who were living in the region. Just two weeks later, a "referendum" was held regarding the integration of Crimea into the Russian Federation. The "referendum" turned out to be illegal, and the Ukrainian Government asserts that Crimea remains part of Ukraine and fully under Ukrainian sovereignty.  Protests in Donetsk and Luhansk regions escalated into an armed pro-Russian separatist insurgency. From late 2014, Eastern cities outside of the Donbass combat zone, such as Kharkiv, Odessa, Kiev, and Mariupol, were struck by many bombings that targeted pro-Ukrainian organizations. Causing a humanitarian crisis of enormous dimension.

Due to the conflict, millions of people need humanitarian aid. Continued fighting has led to the region being more vulnerable and unsafe. The security situation remains unstable and volatile, and many are in dire need of health services. Recent numbers estimate that more than 5 million people are affected by the humanitarian crisis in the eastern part of the country. A total of 1.4 million of the 5 million affected people are considered in need of health assistance. Access to primary, secondary and emergency health care services, as well as medicine, is critically needed.

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