It happened, Russia has now launched a full-scale attack on Ukraine. This might be the beginning of a major war in Europe, possibly also beyond Ukraine. I feel like a lot of people want to help, but how? This cause is certainly not neglected, but I wonder if there might still be any effective interventions. Curious to hear your thoughts, please add ideas and upvote those you find worth investigating more.
[Question] What are effective ways to help Ukrainians right now?
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I think it is difficult to intervene in an emergency and extremely cost inefficient. Also, the situation has maximum attention.
It is difficult to watch the events and realize many people similar to us will suffer and die.
There were similar posts around the Afghan collapse in 2021, which got some attention, although the suffering was relatively small.
Now, months later, some say we could see the deaths of millions of people.
But this isn’t in the news anymore.
+1 I tried searching EA forum for the Afghan crisis, there’s a disappointing lack of posts about it.
Also maximum attention doesn’t necessarily correspond to all low-hanging fruit being picked, just to put it out there.
I agree that this conflict is certainly not neglected right now (I edited my question accordingly) and that it’s probably difficult to find effective (neglected) interventions in such cases. Lots of people in EA are already thinking about this, though, so I thought it might be worth spending at least a few minutes brainstorming ideas to see if we missed anything.
Just want to say that I think Charles’s critiques are fair, but that doesn’t change the fact that I appreciated that you posted this. Time-sensitivity/presence of a limited window of opportunity is an underappreciated lever for impact in the EA toolkit; arguably it should be a formal part of the ITN framework.
The truth is that I am doing nothing to help the Ukraine crisis. I am also doing nothing to help the Afghan crisis.
I did not intend to critique you or make you edit your post. I think you should do exactly what you’re doing, if you think it is right.
I wanted to extend with my comment and write something more. This is orthogonal to your post. While it doesn’t contradict your intentions, it seems inappropriate right now.
I did something for the Afghan crisis (like donating, taking part in multiple protests) and I am doing something for Ukraine (like donating, supporting people with contacts to opportunities). Just want to show that not everyone thinks like Charles.
an article from vox with their suggestions on effective ways to help:
Support free press and non-profits combating political persecution in Russia. Russian propaganda works well and poisons western media as well as local people’s minds. People in Russia should have access to trustworthy sources of information. Those who aren’t scared to express their opinions in public should have access to legal assistance: today 1700 people involved in street protests against the war were arrested.
Personally, I donate to Meduza (Russian online newspaper and news aggregator) and OVD-Info (human rights service). Both of them have been labeled as “foreign agents” in Russia.
Thanks Alex, I appreciate this. Donated.
Thanks for the recommendations! Of the two, OVD-Info looks particularly promising. While Meduza seems partially redundant (correct me if I’m wrong), because all the information is already available from other sources, OVD-Info really seems to make anti-regime actions easier.
You convinced me to donate :)
For the majority of my Russian friends, Meduza is the main news source. It’s more than a news aggregator. They release a lot of exclusive content, podcasts, interviews, newsletter, and FAQs on the most important topics. They also do fact-checking and have inside sources within the government.
In recent days most of the independent media operated from Russia were blocked (e.g., TV Rain channel, Echo of Moscow radio station). There are almost no “other sources” left. And most important, the Russian government can’t threaten the editors, because Meduza is based in Riga, Latvia. Even if it gets blocked in Russia, it will be still accessible through their app or VPNs.
They have an English edition too, here’re some examples of their recent journalism that I recommend:
Why no mass protests in Russia?
‘I’m panicking — where is my child?’
Traumatized by the news
OK, I underestimated them. Thanks for clarifying!
What they do is certainly impressive.
Thank you for sharing Alex, Donated.
There is also TV Rain (or Dozhd, its Russian name), an independent TV station which my Belarusian friend recommended to me as the only Russian news source he uses. Unfortunately it seems you can only donate if you’re a Russian citizen...(I guess Meduza gets around the restriction because it’s based in Latvia)
Thank you for these suggestions, though; I’ve donated to both of them.
Unfortunately, TV Rain website was blocked a few days ago by the Russian government and they suspended all the broadcasting. They operated from Moscow and risks of repressions for them were really high.
I would say that Meduza is the main independent news source in Russia right now. They can experience funding gaps because a lot of Russian citizens won’t be able to make donations with their bank cards because of sanctions. Thanks for your donations!
Thanks Alex. I am just looking for a way to help Ukrainians too.
I read yesterday that Dozhd stopped working due to the governement sanctions. I am therefore wondering, does it make sense to donate to Meduza or does one not risk that they will be forbibben in a few weeks anyways? Anyone have an idea on this?
Update on the question: We ain’t done yet The Russian authorities are now blocking Meduza. We’re ready for this, but we need your help. — Meduza
To be honest, I don’t think this donation will do anything, and not just because the media is blocked. Putin supporters do not read liberal media like Meduza, so it is not going to change minds. What it can do is call thousands of liberals to peacefully protest on the streets. As we have been doing for the past 11+ years, with zero effect. Unless millions of people join the protests (which they won’t, not until sanctions cause famine or something) or protests turn violent (which they won’t, most liberals firmly believe in nonviolence), Putin is just going to ignore them, like he did all these years. These protests are not effective.
Ukraine’s resistance, on the other hand, is having an effect. They only fought for one day and Putin asked for negotiations. They’re destroying the myth of Putin the strong leader, who’s going to unite slavic lands and bring back USSR. Sanctions are destroying the “stability”, the second reason people supported Putin. Dead soldiers are a more convincing argument against war than all the words we can say and have said for the past 8 years. That’s why I believe the effective thing to do is to support Ukrainian army, call for more sanctions against Russia and help the refugees.
EDIT- thanks everyone! My request is no longer needed.
It seems like supporting EAs to escape violence could be a good use of EAIF funds, especially since I think EAs can be trusted to use the funds appropriately.
Under the circumstances, I think we should send the message that reasonable expenses, incurred by EAs directly, or people donating to those EAs, should be reimbursed by EAIF or other large donors.
For context, I recently got personal travel expenses for EAG approved.
[Update 27.02.22, 01:12 am CET] For now things are on standby. Everyone is relatively safe. I’m dealing with incoming request from community members and others as they come. Feel free to keep them coming.
[Update 26.02.22, 3:40 pm CET] Things are moving. For now, everyone seems to be relatively safe and in contact. If you know anyone else (EA or non-EA) who need any sort of support, please connect me directly with those people.
I’m Polish and I’m in Poland right now and helping a couple of people to get out from Ukraine. I’m also in contact with EAs if they decide to leave.
For those that have EA or non-EA friends there, you can let them know that:
I’m able to help directly and/or help find a) transport from UA-PL border (can help in 99% of cases) b) a car and driver to Lviv and other cities in Ukraine that are very close to the border to pick people up if needed (80%) c) a place to stay temporary in all major cities in Poland (97%) and long-term (30%) d) coordinate information sharing (99%) e) some other ways as well (e.g. once in Poland help with prescription medication etc. ), so just fire away if there is anything not on this list.
On an individual level so far, I found that the biggest bottleneck is accurate information (to make an informed decision whether to leave or not; and how to do it) and safe transport within Ukraine. Once people get to UA-PL, we can find help easily.
I don’t want to give my phone/Signal/Whatsapp/Telegram number here, nor my Facebook because there were already some attempts to hack my accounts (the day before invasion and every day since then), but PM me, and I’ll give you my details that you could pass to your friend (or other close ones) in Ukraine.
I don’t know whether it is cost-effective to help people in Ukraine compared to typical EA interventions, but I believe that it is important to build a truly supportive EA community.
Karolina has updated this comment and I thought I would comment to “bump it”.
This activity seems important, maybe this should be a sticky post or something?
I don’t find the words to describe how disturbing your writing is. “It seems” “supporting EAs” “good use” “can be trusted”. I hope there are no Ukrainian people here to read this. Only EAs can be trusted? How about animal activists, how about normal people who need help? They can’t be trusted? Based on what you are making these assumptions Charles? What data about Ukrainians do you have? I am suggesting being a bit more mindful with your language.
No, of course not, that’s a terrible misreading. But when someone is trying to hack your account, or if there is a war, you cannot trust automatically!
A implies B does not mean only A implies B.
It’s great to help but there are ways to do it that don’t put several people at risk.
My birth country was invaded twice by Russia, once in my lifetime so honestly I know what I’m talking about here, high confidence and things are even more difficult now than in the past because of facial recognition and internet’s memory.
Please be cautious about naming people who are leaving or still in-country in public as this can have long term consequences for them and their families.
Visible online fundraising support could put EAs, their families and EA organisations in Ukraine and maybe neighbours in danger for decades—if you must do a fundraiser in public it’s much safer to do this as “personal fundraisers between friends”, make it clear it’s not official help from NGOs in NATO countries to Ukraine or Russian.
Russia has a deep and powerful history and brilliant people.
But Russia today is a regional power, whose economy is about the same as Canada or Italy. It struggles to conduct elementary combined arms operations against a novice, fragile, military like Ukraine. The regime has a brazen willingness to harm people and subvert institutions, in a deeply malicious way, but even this is well monitored by western intelligence services.
Separately and additionally, Western countries are providing sophisticated anti tank and anti-air missiles and unit level intelligence to the Ukraine forces. This for example, let the Ukrainians shoot down the Russian VDV like rabbits. There’s protests at the tens of thousands in cities across the world, and also in Russian cities.
I don’t see how supporting aid for Ukrainians would be inflammatory in this context.
Based on the above, it’s pretty hard for me to get into the mindset that produced your comment to me, and your rather ominous comment to Karolina.
I think your heart is in the right place, but I think it is good to say so in solidarity that while Russians are my friends in general, Putin is my enemy, and Ukraine’s enemy.
Some people here don’t think Putin is their enemy, though. They just want to help Ukraine. Going to Ukraine to help Ukrainians may be dangerous, but that’s true no matter what’s written on this forum. Still, if I were going to Ukraine or Russia, then yes, I would be careful what I say.
Thousands of people and friends from my country, Poland, are organizing in this FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/683793819641997/ It’s a group where people (random citizens of Poland) offer housing for whole families, even with animals, offer transport from the border, offer transport from different Ukraine locations. If there are Polish people on the forum, I highly recommend joining this group if you want to help.
I don’t know if this is of any use but I tried to collect free transport and accommodation possibilities & generic help in this Google Sheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1dhktCZWoHTUYzKGYYk4jPdeUMcuNu-SYXv-TlSHZols/edit#gid=0 Please feel free to add to it and circulate it if you find it useful. Also, please let me know if it can be harmful in ways I haven’t thought about!
Do you know if there is something similar in Romania by any chance?
This group is at 93K, about the same size as the Polish one.
Advocate for introducing strict sanctions against Putin’s friends and Kremlin-linked Russian oligarchs. That’s what Navalny has been talking about for many years: “There is no sense to sanction generals who are definitely not traveling a lot or have bank accounts in Europe”.
My intuition is that Putin doesn’t care much about money anymore and he’s more concerned about impacting history, but his surroundings do care about their property and bank accounts.
Alex I imagine you know what you are doing, but have you discussed with older relatives whether posting like this puts you and others at risk long term (college, jobs, freedom etc)
Hello, everyone! Nina, Kyiv EA group organizer here.
Thank you so much for raising this issue and thank you for your concern!
About Ukrainian charities:
Assessment of the effectiveness of local charities in Ukraine was on our priority list, but… you know, all this happened. So we don’t know how effective the charities in Ukraine are. (UPD: EA Poland and some other EA communities are working on roughly estimating charities helping Ukraine, there is also a list of recommended charities. Also you can submit an organization in this form.) I know that Open Cages Ukraine are grounding their actions on EA principles, but that’s all we know for now. (As dpiepgrass has pointed out in the comments, they are working on reducing animal suffering.)(If you happen to know about other EA charities in Ukraine, please tell!)
So, the official bank accounts (here to support the military and here to support the medics) for supporting Ukraine that three days ago started our government are probably the best we have right now. Also, there are a lot of local charities that provide medical help, help for the children affected by the war, help refugees and so on (sending the links here, here and here). Also some countries started gathering help for Ukrainians, maybe you can find some local facilities involved in it in your country.
Russian media controlled by the government
Many people in Russia don’t know what is really going on because of the misinformation about the invasion. For example, they say that no one is firing at Ukrainian civilian facilities, only at military facilities.
There already are some organizations that debunk fake information: stopfake.org, informnapalm.org, (and there are great links in other answers to this post). Also I think it is really important to support people in Russia who are right now protesting against the war, their human rights activists, their independent media and politicians from opposition.
Two days ago I thought that international political support is crucial. General considerations were: demands to close Ukrainian sky (I’m really really not at all sure that this is a good idea anymore), to impose sanctions especially against the politicians in Russia who are supporting the war.
The situation is rapidly changing, political support is impressive right now, but it’s hard to tell if it’s enough to stop the invasion. But if your government isn’t taking as much action as you think it probably should, I think it still might be an area you can influence a lot.
I’m also really really really looking for people from longtermist orgs, especially people who specialize in great power conflicts—some of our community members are in Ukraine right now, and it would be great to know about some longtermist considerations to guide our actions!
UPD: added some other links with other ways to help!
Thanks for this information. Note: Google translate tells me that Open Cages Ukraine’s goal is “to create the world is free from animal suffering”, which is probably not top-of-mind for Ukraine observers atm.
Yes, that’s true! Thank you, updated the post.
Thank you for this.
It would be great if some rough assessment could be made of Ukrainian charities, those supporting the army with equipment or the humanitarian ones providing food/medical help.
At the very least, maybe that research will point our some really inefficient ones we should avoid?
For example, @Michael has tried to do this for Polish charities here https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/gacpE79RKke2foG9K/rough-attempt-to-profile-charities-which-support-ukrainian
Hello! Thank you for telling this, some days ago EAs from EA Poland and from some other EA communities started working on a rough assessment of charities helping Ukrainians. Updated the links in the post!
Thanks for the emergency overview and the work you do, hope you‘re safe! Are there new insights since? I’m drafting a social media posts (especially linkedin) at the moment summarizing this thread, I‘m asking against this background.
Hello! Thank you!
I added the links where EA Poland and other communities are working on roughly evaluating charities, there is also a list of recommendations where would it be great to donate.
I guess almost everything is the same—armed forces are fighting, civilians are trying to stop tanks/volunteering/evacuating/trying to talk to acquaintances from Russia, telling what is really going on here (many people there still believe that it’s a “peaceful operation to free Ukrainians from a very bad government of nationalists and drug addicts in Kyiv with no firing at civil infrastructure” :(. At the same time, everything here was okay before this peaceful-people-saving-operation. :(
New danger is fires at nuclear power plants. (Also Chornobyl for now is under control of Russian forces). This is so scary and messed up, I don’t have enough words to describe it :(
Hope you’re okay too! Thank you for sharing the information in this thread, it’s really important!
[UPDATE] Thanks for support! If all things lined up go through, the request is covered.
I have a donation opportunity that from a quick judgment, seems very neglected, potentially important and tractable; it also needs donations ASAP (the earlier the donation, the higher the impact). It is a higher risk and a higher reward; not everyone will be interested. Please message me if you are interested, and I can explain on a quick Signal call.
I talked with Karolina and chose to donate—it seems unclear how likely my donation will help (things are so uncertain in general!) but I know and trust Karolina’s judgement and since very large donors might not be able to help with this, it seemed like a reasonable use of my small donation budget.
[EDITED] Thanks for support! If all things lined up go through, the request is covered.
UPDATE: From what I heard many European countries such as Poland and Romania are very open to Ukrainian refugees, so this might not be a bottleneck (comment if you disagree!)
Lobby for taking up Ukrainian refugees in your country? (if you live in a suitable country)
It looks like there are some low hanging fruit: Ukrainians are already allowed to stay in Germany for up to 90 days without visa, but only if they have a biometric passport, which half of Ukrainians don’t have (and might not be able to get any time soon because of the war). Germany could temporarily drop that requirement for Ukrainians. Here some more requests of Pro Asyl (largest German pro asylum advocacy organisation). For anyone with influence on policy decisions or on the public debate in general, this might be an effective intervention?
Maybe even offer cheap or free housing for Ukrainians in case you (or your parents, friends etc) happen to have empty rooms or an empty house altogether? Lots of rural parts in Germany (especially East Germany) have empty houses.
The bottleneck is now transport for women and children from different cities in more central Ukraine.
Kelsey Piper’s most recent Future Perfect newsletter has outlined several donation opportunities that look great.
Epistemic Status : I’m not very confident about my idea because I just started thinking about this idea this morning. So I’d be happy to hear your thoughts on that.
I wonder if a small group of smart hackers couldn’t do huge things to help Ukraine vs Russia. I feel like Anonymous tends to do massive not-very-smart attacks (huge DDoS basically) and I feel like given their results there might be room for very smart interventions that truly make a difference in Russia’s ability to win this war (either helping Ukrainians via information or some protection against cyber attacks, or attacking Russian logistics / information systems for instance)
For the rationale of engaging in these cyber activities:
- I feel like anything that does not harm Russian civilians and makes the Ukraine invasion harder is positive, bc I feel like this might have very important long-run effects (if Russia comes out of this conflict much weaker than when it began, it’s a major incentive against future full-scale invasions, and that’s very positive)
- If your localization is identifiable and you’re able to do significant things, it might make diplomatic relations between your country / Russia even worse.
- It might be risky if you want to go to Russia at some point
If people do this (which does seem quite cool!) I’d moderately prefer they hide their connection to EA somewhat; we probably don’t want unnecessary nation-state actor attention on us (more than there is already I mean).
Possibly stupid idea:
Use civilian intelligence/OSINT to map out where all the Russian oligarchs’ boats are.
Come up with a memetic ask for how to get people to peacefully protest all oligarch boats.
Social media campaign/digital media blitz to get this message public and well-known
If successful, organize large numbers of peaceful protests around the world near yachts and other public symbols of high Russian wealth
Hope that the oligarchs can pressure Putin to stop the war
(If people do end doing this, I’d personally prefer it if they do not publicly credit me or link their work to effective altruism)
Someone has done step 1 for 46 Oligarch planes (Twitter: @RUOligarchJets).
There is an initiative called Tech for Ukraine, aimed at pairing NGOs with tech companies in order to help the former develop IT capabilities eg. related to cybersecurity, embedded payments, gathering donations etc. - all this to amplify the humanitarian and civil society response in Ukraine.
Case studies about projects so far (done for non-Ukraine related NGOs):
This could be an effective way to get involved, provided you have the skillset or you work in a company that can provide one.
At EA Poland we’ve started to try evaluating organisations running fundraisers for Ukraine to make sure people can donate with the biggest possible impact. If you’d like to get involved we have a dedicated form where you can submit an organisation by answering several questions. The main goal of this project is to recommend organisations that are worth supporting financially. https://forms.gle/rAdACBs9JFZXLPTk6
Marta, did you publish your research anywhere?
What do you guys think of simply donating the to the Ukranian army? It’s not obvious to me that anything is more high leverage at promoting democracy and peace in the long term than simply helping Ukraine amount a more effective defense and increase the cost to Russia of its aggression. What do y’all think about organizations like Come Back Alive that appear to be funneling money directly to the Ukranian army.
This is my reasoning as well. Help the army with direct transfers.
The army itself has set up a bank account, so instead of donating to some charities I would suggest donating straight to that account. Heres a post of Ukrainian embassy in Belgium:
Two considerations seem very relevant here:
(1) Is your primary goal to help Ukranians, or to make this more costly for Russia?
(2) Do you think the extra money is likely to change the outcome of the war, or merely the duration?
A combined answer is that the point is to help Ukrainians fight for longer. More time means:
- Less morale on the Russian side = higher chances of them backing off
- The West has more chances to take more actions that might made a difference
- The image of unbeatable Russian army demolishes, which will have ripple effects throughout history.
- The icy mud in the vast fields of Ukraine will thaw and turn into mud during March. This makes war much more difficult for Russians.
As always, our donations individually will be small but multiplied by the potential to have a huge impact, the expected utility is high.
This comment and this action might affect people you are connected to in the affected countries, in the medium and long term—could be used as anti-west and anti-EA propaganda, and Gray Zone and for visa restrictions and trial evidence in stitch ups in 2023-5. Web crawlers and network analysis make it much easier for such info to be saved. Consider deleting?
Help others (especially misinformed Russians) get a clear picture of what’s happening
Russian state TV is framing the invasion as a “liberation of Ukrainians from their nazi government” to justify the war. Ukraine’s president Zelenskyy has responded with an address to the Russian people directly in Russian that I personally found quite powerful. Any guesses on how many Russians have already seen this? If you know any Russians personally who might not have seen it already, maybe sharing it with them could help? Any other good news sources (in English or Russian) that more people should see?
I know people from Belarus living in Poland, who are partly buying the propaganda, that it’s all USA fault, that Ukraine should give away Donetsk and Luhansk and stay away from NATO, and that now afraid Ukrainians will attack Belarus. But my mum is talking to them, showing other perspectives, also explaining why Poland wanted to be in EU and in NATO, why we have more prosperity etc.
The other side is my family in Belarus who we tried to call, but who can’t talk to us about anything Ukraine-related. They just say “it’s hard” on the phone and that’s it :( But we are pretty sure they don’t support any war, and Russian propaganda, they are just afraid to express that in any single way. That’s why all these people protesting on the streets are heroes! Getting arrested and still protesting the war. Such bravery.
Donate to effective humanitarian aid non-profits in Ukraine?
Does anyone know what some effective non-profits are, and how funding constrained they are? After quick Google search, I just found these suggestions, but I don’t know how effective any of them is.
I’ve submitted a very rough draft of how we could profile charities (and perhaps other organizations) to get a feel how they contribute:
I appreciate your feedback, I’d be happy to get this ball rolling.
Michael hi and I’ll try to read that.
Just one major concern: in war and humanitarian work the INT framework may not be sufficient/ideal as in a war you also have to factor in urgency and cascading consequences if logistics supply is not set up promptly, even before you have certainty …
e.g. if chemical protection masks and suits don’t arrive before a toxic ‘accident’, many may die
… so there is a premium on prompt action as part of Critical Pathway Planning, and fine adjustments/discussions can happen in parallel rather than in the slow deliberative way one might normally want to do.
We tried to combine a list of organisations working on providing the help to the people of Ukraine. These seemed like reasonable options to us:
Sam Bankman Fried gave $25 to each Ukrainian on FTX.
Since this is not an answer to the question, it should be a comment instead.
Another way to get involved might be to join OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) community and help vet information from disinformation etc. There is a nice introductory article to be found here: https://www.freethink.com/technology/osint-ukraine
Hi everyone. I’m currently working directly on the humanitarian response to the situation in Ukraine.
Please donate money, not goods. Currently, the delivery of essential goods like medical supplies is being hindered because of private donations from the public, which are clogging up already restricted supply chains. In humanitarian crises like this one, donating money is almost always more effective than donating goods.
Consider donating to other humanitarian crises. The Ukraine crisis is actually comparatively well-funded—the last I heard, $1.5bn of the UN’s $1.7bn appeal had been pledged. This is a much higher rate of funding than most humanitarian appeals achieve. But the $1.5bn that has been pledged will come from elsewhere in the global system, and will likely be taken from other ongoing humanitarian crises. Those ongoing crises are already being made worse by the war in Ukraine: the global economic impacts are expected to push more people into poverty, and Ukraine and Russia are both major grain exporters so we can expect to see food insecurity increase worldwide. And ultimately, Ukrainian refugees are likely less vulnerable than, say, people in need in Yemen or DRC. You might also want to lobby your government to pay more attention to these neglected crises.
Donate to organisations countering Russian disinformation. There is a lot of this coming out in the western media, as well as in Russia, so do be sceptical of things that you read in the news. Anything seeking to fact check news reports, or to inform and empower Russian citizens, seem likes it would have a positive impact.
Do your research on secondary impacts. Sanctions, for example, can be extremely effective, but they can also have a lot of dangerous secondary impacts, geopolitically and on individuals (for example, a ban on grain exports from Russia would have huge humanitarian consequences worldwide). Funding arms would be extremely dangerous if those arms fell into Russian hands. Governments introducing sanctions or providing lethal aid to Ukraine are putting huge amounts of effort and expertise into working out how to do so effectively; it’s unlikely that members of the public will be better informed on those issues.
In this situation, I think the most important effort is to help the Ukrainian army prolong the conflict so that:
- The West has more time for tougher sanctions.
- Sanctions start affecting Russia
- The morale on the Russian side weakens, forcing Putin to stop the advance.
To support the military, I recommend https://www.blue-yellow.lt/en/ Its an organization that has been operating there since 2014, providing military and humanitarian support.
My trusted sources tell me that money spent there is even more efficient than directly supporting the Ukrainian army and their bank account.
Yes! That’s exactly my thoughts. In addition, if Putin faces high resistance, it will show other regimes that such actions will not be tolerated.
Can you tell more about what those trusted sources say about Blue/Yellow? I’m considering making a significant donation but I won’t do it blindly. How exactly can they be more effective than Ukrainian army?
I’m particularly interested in affecting the outcome and aftermath of this war (long-term effects), rather than short-term humanitarian help.
I do not have any numbers to back this up unfortunately. Its based on a conversation with someone who knows people in Ukraine’s Rada (their parliament) who are very well informed about the situation. They said that this charity has been there since the 2014 invasion, helping the army with supplies and providing humanitarian aid.
I suppose the reason why this charity might be more effective than directly sending money to the army is the general tendency for government bureaucracy to be slow and less efficient. Although I think direct transfers to the army are still quite effective.
The Canadian government is matching 1-1 every fund donated to The Canadian Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal.
This seems like a good way to optimize your donations towards a humanitarian cause specific to the conflict. (Every $1 donated is worth $2)
Why is this being severely downvoted? Is it because it’s a scam or something, or because Red Cross is just not considered an effective charity?
This is a legit suggestion, so I’m going to strongly upvote the comment. Not sure why the downvotes are coming in, other than, as you say, perhaps indicating that people think that the Red Cross is ineffective, or that Canadian-specific multipliers aren’t highly relevant for this discussion.
A few months later, I want to note that my impression is that the Red Cross is indeed quite ineffective in this regard (helping Ukraine in the war). Other options are better. I came to this conclusion soon after writing the above comment, but I didn’t come back here (till now) to correct myself. I still think that the original comment in this thread was made in good faith, and thus I wouldn’t downvote it. I did, however, want to make clear that my thoughts had evolved significantly after writing the above comment.
I summarized my view on the problem here, mainly about sanctions. And thanks to @Alex_Berezhnoy and @Ula for the links.
Epistemic Status : I just read a Twitter thread on it and I found the idea interesting. So I’m sharing it for this. But it’s still very plausible I’m wrong.
I feel like it might be worth considering this: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/give-russians-real-news-about-ukraine-using-ads
It’s basically an ad campaign to raise awareness among Russian on what happens in Ukraine. It looks like the project has committed to a high degree of transparency.
So I’d say that there are two main plausible paths to impact:
- The direct impact of the campaign. It looks like in this context, the marginal value of information might be high because if many people update (which is plausible), it might put pressure on Putin and lead him to lower his expectations on Ukraine.
- The informative impact: I’d be curious to have detailed data on this kind of ad campaign. I feel like it hasn’t been tried a lot yet, and I wonder how effective it could be. Given the announced transparency of this project, it’s likely that it could give us a better idea of how efficient it is (via the click rate for instance). That said, it might be hard to track the actual impact of that on Russia’s policy. So my guess is that it would provide a lot of information only if it’s very efficient or very inefficient.
We are OpenPrinciples, an EA-aligned community and a crowdsourced wiki for collecting life principles. The situation in Ukraine and the world’s reaction to it might be telling us that we need good principles more than ever before. So for this Saturday, we are organizing a group discussion session for Ukraine Situation Related Life Principles.
If you like to come, please prepare 1 of your question/challenge and 1 of your life principle related to the Ukraine situation. Here are some example questions:
- How to take action rationally for what you believe
- How to maintain your mental health when you are worried for the world
- How to control your emotion when going through guilt / social pressure
- How to realize one’s political bias
If you are interested, please join us at: https://zoom.us/j/95795466560?pwd=Yk9mMjdudUhTYU5yaXFSN3lpeVc4dz09
For this Saturday March 12th, 4-5pm GMT, or 11pm-12pm EST, or 8~9am PST
Short term humanitarian option
A friend of mine is organising private transports of emergency goods (food, medicine, etc) from Western Germany to Kiev. This coming weekend they will be delivering their first load (~€3,000 worth of medical equipment).
Transporting goods from Western Germany is of course an expensive option to bring these goods into the country and there are good reasons to donate to professional humanitarian organisations acting locally to perform this kind of help (i.e. it’s cheaper, better coordinated, etc). The temporary value add I see in this initiative lays in the fact that they are delivering the goods straight to the front line in Kiev—a risk that professional humanitarian organisations cannot take at the moment (https://reliefweb.int/report/ukraine/statement-un-resident-and-humanitarian-coordinator-ukraine-osnat-lubrani-3-march-2022).
If you would like donate, you can donate via PayPal: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=TJTXV9AQTPFRY.
I’m coordinating with my friend to have a sense for their ability to absorb more funds and will update this comment accordingly.
The best way to help is by donating to the organizations on the ground in Ukraine that are helping provide relief and support for displaced families such as https://revivalfund.com.ua/en You can help with medical supplies, food, clothing, blankets and more. It’s important to stay informed about what is happening in Ukraine. So good way to do this is to read news from sources that are based in the country.
Download and send:
”Where there is no doctor” epub / mobi
”Where there is no dentist” epub / mobi
”Where there is no vet” epub / mobi / pdf
Can someone find the links for the free full texts?
They are available on LibGen. See e.g. here.