Standing With Ukraine: How Our Team is Surviving the Conflict

Standing With Ukraine: How Our Team is Surviving the Conflict

6 min read

The recent invasion of Russian forces into Ukraine has shocked the world. Many of our colleagues here at Vectornator are from Ukraine and are personally affected by the conflict. We stand with them.

We asked a few of them to share a few words of their own.

Oleksandra

"War is the worst nightmare that has become a reality for Ukrainians. I will never forget the cold horror that we experienced on the morning of February 24, waking up from the sounds of explosions, and then it seemed that this was the worst, but it turned out that the worst was yet to come.

It is difficult for me to talk about occupied and destroyed cities, what people experience there is impossible to comprehend, and I still do not understand how this can happen to civilians who had their own lives, families, children, and plans for the future. Ukraine is a European country, wonderful people live here, who have shown themselves to be really strong and united people at such a time. This war must stop.

I am grateful to all the people who support the Ukrainians, I see how my colleagues are helping and this gives me hope for the best. Ukraine still needs support, and when we win, it will not be a victory in a local war, it will be the victory of the whole world over madness and evil, which wants to destroy what humanity has achieved in matters of freedom and human rights over the past decades."

Marko

"Now is the toughest time in the life of every Ukrainian. After a month of the war, every Ukrainian has a relative or a friend whose city has been destroyed, who had to flee the country, or lost the ones closest to them. The atrocities committed by the Russian army are hard to comprehend, and unfortunately, more are to come.

But I am convinced that we will prevail. Because Russia is not just fighting our soldiers, it is fighting 40 million Ukrainians and every person in the world who believes in democracy, human rights, and dignity. And I’m so thankful to my Vectornator colleagues who volunteer, donate money, host refugees, help find the doctors, and do many, many other things to support us. Slava Ukraini!"

Max

"Personal stories hit the hardest, so I’ll share one.

My mom is a pediatrician, living in Odessa, Ukraine.

Odessa is a safer area compared to eastern parts where war is ongoing, but not as safe as the western region, since bombardment happens from the sea.

Still, some people choose to evacuate to Odessa. A few days ago she has admitted a 2-year-old boy and his grandmother to the hospital. The boy got cold on their way from Luhansk. He was wearing the oversized cloth of his older brother. His parents didn’t make it.

The humanitarian catastrophe that this war brings is beyond what we can comprehend. Over 136 children have died directly and we cannot even estimate how many of them became orphaned.

There is no way Ukraine will lose this war, it’s simply not an option. Please, do whatever you can to end it sooner, rather than later."

Valeriy

On the evening of February 23rd, I was celebrating my 51st birthday in the city of Gostomel, near Kyiv. Several hours later, in the early morning of February 24th, I was woken up by explosions.

What you all have seen on the news, I’ve seen from window of my apartment: the Gostomel airport was shelled by Russians with rocket missiles, and there were dozens Russian attack helicopters in the air, some barraging right above Gostomel. Several times, Russian fighter aircraft flew just a few dozen meters above my apartment block.

I was very happy to escape Gostomel on the evening of that very same day; moving my family to a safer place just before the bridges were destroyed. You all have probably seen photographs in the news of what Gostomel, Bucha, and Irpin were turned into.

My apartment block in Gostomel wasn’t destroyed. But my apartment was robbed, as were all the other apartments in the apartment block. The invaders left a huge "Z" drawn on the wall with a spray-paint can.

From the 3rd of March I have been serving in the Ukrainian Army.

Slava Ukraini!

What are we doing in response?

At Vectornator, our people come first. That’s why we’re doing what we can to offer continued support to our team members affected by the crisis.

From providing unlimited paid time off to offering mental health support, we hope that these small promises will help our Ukrainian employees feel appreciated and supported during this turbulent time.

While we don’t expect our Ukrainian employees to work until they’re ready to, we have set up communication channels so that they can check in with our leadership team on a regular basis. Vectornator founder Vladimir Danila is in daily contact with our employees in and around Ukraine through a Slack crisis channel so that any questions can be answered.

For employees and their families that have managed to escape Ukraine, we’re also offering both temporary and permanent relocation. This involves providing flight or train tickets, temporary accommodation, and support with VISA applications and housing search.

How is the Vectornator Community reacting to the conflict?

All over the world, people are showing their solidarity with Ukraine, and the Vectornator community is no different. Many of our users are using art to show their support for those affected and convey their sorrow over this brutal conflict. Here are some of our favorite anti-war designs below.

Artwork by Vectornator team member Jiamin
Artwork by Vectornator team member Lukas

How can you help or donate?

There are many organizations currently providing relief to Ukraine, but these are the ones that have been recommended by our Ukrainian colleagues. Please take the time to donate if you can, and to share these organizations with others in your community.

Organizations in Ukraine

Come Back Alive

Come Back Alive is a large organization that provides support to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Their mission involves supplying equipment, technology, and training to soldiers in order to support them in defending their country and saving civilian lives. Donate here.

GlobalGiving Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund

GlobalGiving is one of the most reliable charities in the world, and currently is raising funds to support locally-led organizations throughout Ukraine. They set up the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund to support communities in Ukraine, as well as refugees who have fled the country.

Your donation will help to provide shelter, food, and clean water for refugees, health and psychosocial support, and access to education and economic assistance. Find out more here.

Vostok SOS

Vostok SOS is a Ukraine-based non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to assisting people stuck in areas of conflict within Ukraine. The organization is currently accepting donations to help people evacuate, provide medical and humanitarian aid, and offer psychosocial support in the aftermath of shelling. Donate here.

Voices of Children

Voices of Children Foundation has been providing psychological support to children affected by war in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine through art therapy, video storytelling, psychologists, and more. Support them by donating here.

Humanity & Inclusion

Humanity & Inclusion (H&I) is an international nongovernmental organization that helps Ukrainians fleeing conflict—especially older people and those with injuries and disabilities. Donations will go toward supplying emergency kits, medication, rehabilitation, and mental health support. Find out more here.

Media Support

A GoFundMe page has been launched in a bid to help keep Ukraine’s media outlets running during the war. Funds will help them relocate, set up offices, and fight against Russian misinformation. Donate here.

How to Support Ukrainian Refugees

Global Empowerment Mission

The Global Empowerment Mission is a nonprofit organization that funded a welcome center at the border of Ukraine and Poland. There, Ukrainian refugees are provided relocation assistance, such as transportation, lodging, and airfare. GEM also helps deliver aid inside Ukraine and evacuate those still in the country. Donate here.

The International Rescue Committee

The International Rescue Committee is a well-established organization that provides resources to those fleeing countries in crisis. They are currently on the ground in both Ukraine and Poland helping provide cash, medical treatment, and more to Ukrainians leaving the country. Donate to help their mission here.

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