Russia launched an unprovoked attack on Ukraine on February 24, 2022 (Credit: Jernej Furman/CC-By-SA-2.0/Flickr)

Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022, is showing no signs of ending. While the brave Ukrainians have thus far succeeded in keeping the Russian army from taking over major cities like Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Mariupol, the war is taking a toll on the Eastern European nation. Thousands of residential buildings, cemeteries and even hospitals have been razed by Russian airstrikes. Over two million Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries, and as many as 4,000 soldiers and civilians are believed to have perished.

Ukraine's plight has not gone unnoticed. Millions of people worldwide are doing everything in their power to help the locals. Some are donating funds to the various charities dedicated to the cause, while others are finding unique ways to help them directly.

Russian airstrikes have razed thousands of buildings in Ukraine (Credit: State Emergency Service of Ukraine/ CC BY 4.0/ Wikimedia Commons)

One of the most innovative donation methods has been reserving a rental in a Ukrainian city through Airbnb and letting the owner know that the money is theirs to keep. As of March 4, 2022, people worldwide had booked 61,000 nights, for a total of $2 million! With Airbnb waiving all booking fees, the entire amount went to the property renters. The company is also using its network of renters in neighboring countries to provide free, short-term stays for up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.

Many people are prepaying ride-sharing apps like BlaBlaCar to help transport refugees. On March 1, 2022, the company's CEO tweeted that the global community had booked rides to take 50,000 Ukrainians to neighboring countries like Poland, Romania, and Hungary. Donors are also using sites like Etsy and eBay to buy Ukrainian goods that they have no intention of receiving.

The metro station in Kyiv, Ukraine's capital city, has become an air raid shelter since the invasion began (Credit: CC-BY-Sa-4.0 International /Wikipedia Commons)

Stanislav Sabanov has set up a special website to connect Ukrainian refugees in Georgia with homeowners willing to accommodate them, doctors offering free consultations, and others providing in-kind assistance. In Poland, a 700-member group called "Kejterski Patrol" is helping Ukrainians fleeing with dogs by housing and taking care of their pooches. The owner of Al's Breakfast in Minnesota has added Syrnik, a traditional Ukrainian cheese pancake, to her menu. All proceeds from the pancake sales are donated to Ukraine.

Stay Strong, Ukraine

The World Is With You!