Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Thousands of Russians Working Quietly and Anonymously to Help Ukrainian Refugees

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 27 – Thousands of Russians are working quietly and with an insistence of anonymity to help the more than two million Ukrainians who have fled their homeland because of Putin’s war against their country. These Russians are making an enormous contribution but it is seldom noted because such people fear what the authorities might do if it became known.

            According to activists, there are more than 8,000 such Russian helpers in the city of Moscow alone; and a few of them have been willing to talk with the Holod news agency under conditions of anonymity about what they do to meet all the needs of the Ukrainian refugees (holod.media/2022/07/27/secret-volunteers/).

            The volunteers aren’t organized in official groups but rather cooperate via social media contacts. They meet an enormous variety of needs from arranging housing and medical care to finding money to send pets to relatives abroad or to allow Ukrainians who have fled to Russia move to the West.

            Such activities are an important reminder than not all Russians are as anti-Ukrainian as many think and that when they can operate independently of the Russian state and avoid attracting attention to what they are doing, many of them are willing and able to do remarkable things.

            If the Putin regime were clever, it would recognize that the activities of these people serve its interests of bringing the Ukrainians and Russians together; but if it were clever, it would never have launched its invasion, an action that has driven a deep and likely permanent wedge between the two nations.


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