International support for Ukraine is paramount, and the grassroot level of it demands more attention. Ukraine In Flames #105 continues the exploration of this topic, turning to speakers from Spain and Estonia specifically – two very different countries, yet both showing their solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
Spain has consistently demonstrated its support of Ukraine, including in very practical terms. In addition to taking a very unambiguous and clear-cut position about Russian war, it has also supported Ukrainian EU aspirations and pledged more than 200 tons of military aid after the Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez visited Kyiv in this April, not afraid of the possibility of Russian air strikes. As of April, 110,000 Ukrainian refugees have entered Spain, and support for them is another important track of assistance. Governmental efforts are complemented by the grass-roots efforts of local volunteers.
In its own turn, Estonia remains one of the most dedicated friends Ukraine has on the international arena. Its own experience of the Soviet occupation, marked by repressions, Russification and mass deportations that have been recognized as a crime against humanity by the European Court of Human Rights, created grounds for deep understanding of Ukrainian experience. Well-known for its resilience and ability to mobilize, Estonia has diverted a significant amount of these skills to supporting Ukraine.
The country of approximately 1.3 million people has welcomed more than 34,000 thousand refugees, which has put a strain on the local economy but didn’t alter the hospitality of Estonians. A noticeable part of Ukrainian refugees in Estonia are from Mariupol, a city that has suffered perhaps the most destruction in the current war that we know of and where at least 22,000 people died due to the Russian aggression. Also, Estonia is the country were many Ukrainians deported/forcibly moved to Russia from the occupied territories go if they have a chance.
The current war has mobilized not just Ukrainians, but also its friends abroad and has been a tragic reason for importance experience of grassroots horizontal self-organization – one of the most important elements of national resilience in any country. Assistance it has generated for Ukraine is deeply appreciated.
- Pablo Gil, Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Valencia, Spain
- Ülle Hallik, freelance journalist, Estonia
- NGO “Slava Ukraini”, Estonia.
UKRAINE IN FLAMES project is created by Ukraine Crisis Media Center, Ukrainian Catholic University’s analitical center and NGO “Euroatlantic Course”. We are aiming at searching a loud support for Ukraine in the war started by Russia on the 24th of February 2022.
If you want to support Ukraine against Russian aggression, check the link with recommendations by Ukraine Crisis Media Center – https://uacrisis.org/en/help-ukraine.
NGO Euroatlantic Course collects donations to support Ukrainian Army and civilians – https://eac.org.ua/en/main-page/.