Photo Credit: Reuters 

Global Gain has created the “Ukraine Democracy Activist Crisis Fund,” to support Ukrainians who have dedicated their lives to fighting for human rights and democracy. They are in special danger from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked, unjust and merciless invasion. U.S. intelligence services have determined that the Russian government is compiling lists of such activists, “to be killed or sent to camps,” in order to suppress Ukrainian resistance.  Global Gain is in direct contact with democracy activists and their families whose lives have been upended by the war.  The vast majority of these individuals are women, and much of their work has been specifically dedicated to empowering women leaders, the LGBTI community, and other marginalized groups.

This fund will be dedicated to relief efforts to immediately support the needs of these individuals.  These include emergency evacuation efforts, relocation living expenses, emergent medical needs, legal services, and other needs associated with the results of the crisis caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine.   All contributions made to the Global Gain Ukrainian Democracy Activist Fund will be used to address these needs.  Please make a generous contribution today to support these courageous defenders of democracy.

Grant Application for Democracy Activists in Ukraine

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Why give through Global Gain?

Several of Global Gain’s Board and Advisory Board members have worked directly with these human rights and democracy activists.  We have been on the ground, working hand in hand with these activists to promote women’s leadership in politics and civil society, government accountability, tolerance and inclusion, and combating disinformation.  Through its network of on-the-ground contacts, Global Gain has the unique ability to direct efforts specifically and immediately towards democracy activists who are likely to be targets of Russian aggression and in need of emergency support in the coming days, weeks and months. We invite you to join our efforts and contribute today.

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Background

Since gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine has pursued a path of democratization that distinguished it from an authoritarian Russia, despite the two countries’ historical, linguistic and cultural ties.  In 2014, Ukraine’s Russia-friendly president fled the country in the face of a huge popular uprising against corruption and repression. Russia reacted by invading and occupying parts of Ukraine. Russia illegally annexed Crimea in the south of the country and supports Russian separatist militants in the eastern part of the country known as the Donbas region.

As Ukraine has pursued membership in the European Union and looked towards building ties with Western allies, Russia has flooded the country with disinformation intended to undermine its democratically elected government. On February 24, 2022, President Putin began an unprovoked, unjust military invasion of Ukraine.  Bombs and shelling have been indiscriminately killing civilians and targeting critical infrastructure. Three  million Ukrainians are now refugees who have fled their homes under enormous danger and uncertainty. Nearly 2 million people have been displaced internally. International aid agencies believe the war in Ukraine will lead to the greatest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II.

Photo Credit: Michelle McGrorty

Personal Stories

These activities are Ukrainian patriots who have dedicated their lives to building an open and democratic Ukraine and defending their country’s independence and democracy.  Their identities are being protected for their safety, however, their stories include:

Ana, a woman from western Ukraine, has worked for democracy organizations and reformist elected officials since the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991.  In addition to her professional life, she has spent her nights and weekends at peaceful anti-corruption and other protests, helping to ensure that Ukraine is not only independent but democratic and tolerant.

Ivanna, a young person from the Donbas area in Ukraine’s east was internally displaced due to military action near her home in 2014.  Her professional focus is on gender equity.  Ivanna’s work and that of her organization have contributed to documented increases in public support for women’s political leadership. In her personal life,  Ivanna and her family had built a new life in Kyiv, only to become IDPs (internally displaced persons) once again in recent weeks, due to Russian aggression.

Yvenhia has spent over 20 years working to build women leadership in Ukraine.  Through her efforts and the work of the organizations she is involved with, women’s leadership in Ukraine has been expanded.  Since the 2019 parliamentary elections, women in elected office nearly doubled.  She is a mentor to young female politicians as well as a trusted confidante to senior women in parliament.

Vadym, a young person who has been working for an NGO’s diversity and inclusion program, found their own voice, and as a result, has become open about their gender identity.  Through the support of like-minded activists who bravely serve on the front lines of inclusion and diversity, Ukraine has made slow steps towards tolerance, including holding an annual Kyiv Pride LGBTI march that is now  attended by thousands

Photo Credit: Michelle McGrorty

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