Ukraine crisis explained

Learn about the current crisis in Ukraine, who is affected, and key facts.

What is happening in Ukraine?

On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine.

The conflict forced more than 14 million people to leave their homes – that’s more than a quarter of Ukraine’s entire population.

More than 5 million people remain displaced within Ukraine and an estimated 5.9 million are now living as refugees across Europe. Older people, people with disabilities and people with a lack of economic resources are the most affected.

This latest escalation in military action comes after eight years of ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.

ShelterBox is responding to the Ukraine crisis.

Ukrainian woman in blue winter coat holds up solar light
Dina's flat was damaged during an attack. She received a shelter kit to help her rebuild and a solar light (pictured).

5 things you need to know about the Ukraine crisis

1. The Ukraine conflict began in February 2014 when Crimea was annexed from Ukraine. Since then, tensions have risen steadily. The latest escalation in violence began on 24 February 2022.

2. Before the recent escalation in conflict, the UN estimated that 2.9 million people in Ukraine already needed humanitarian assistance. This number has now grown to 17.6 million people. Older people, people with disabilities and people with a lack of economic resources are the most affected.

3. According to the UN Refugee Agency, before the latest increase in violence, nearly 1.5 million people were internally displaced within Ukraine. Half were over the age of 60 – making it one of the ‘oldest’ crises in the world. This number has now grown to 5.1 million.




4. Since 2014, Ukraine has been the target of multiple cyber-attacks, some resulting in devastating power blackouts affecting thousands of people.

5. Winter temperatures fall as low as -15 °C in Ukraine, causing even more challenges for innocent people.

How can I help people in Ukraine?

See how you can support people caught up in the crisis

Your questions answered

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How is ShelterBox helping?

ShelterBox has helped more than 37,000 people affected by the war in Ukraine so far. We’ve supported people displaced within Ukraine, as well as refugees who crossed the border into Moldova.

With our attention now firmly on supporting people through the bitter winter months, we’ll be reaching around 30,000 more people with essential items to help them survive.

People are living in damaged homes without heating or lighting. That’s why we’re providing thermal clothing, solar lights, water carriers and stoves with our new partner, NNLPD.

We’re also working with ReliefAid and Green Chernobyl to provide emergency shelter repair kits. This will help people fix damaged roofs, seal windows and doors, keep the heat in and make homes watertight.

A man and a woman receiving aid in Ukraine
Yuriy and his wife are some of the people receiving ShelterBox aid in Ukraine.

Please donate today

Thousands of people urgently need your help

Your support will help provide lifesaving aid for families affected by the Ukraine crisis or other conflicts and disasters around the world.