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 6 million people remain displaced within Ukraine and an estimated 7.7 million are now living as refugees across Europe.

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. Millions of people in eastern Ukraine have been severely affected by an ongoing conflict that began in 2014 when Crimea was annexed from Ukraine.

2. Before the recent escalation in conflict, the UN estimated that 2.9 million people in Ukraine already needed humanitarian assistance.

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.

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 is working with partners, ReliefAid and Green Chernobyl, to support people in Ukraine and those who have fled to a neighbouring country like Moldova.

We have already distributed thousands of mattresses to people living in collective centres like schools and churches in Lviv, Ukraine. This offers people somewhere to sleep and keep warm at night.

We are distributing thermal blankets, clothing, and emergency repair kits – including tarpaulins and timber – to help people fix damaged roofs, seal windows and doors, keep the heat in and make homes watertight.

The most vulnerable households are also being given solid fuel stoves, and a supply of firewood that will last the average family through the winter.

Finally, we are supporting refugees in neighbouring countries with high priority items they can carry with them, like hygiene items and cash.

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

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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.