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UKRAINE

UPDATED: How can people in Sweden help Ukraine?

Wondering how you can offer your spare room or summer house to someone in need, or where you can donate money? Here's a few ways people in Sweden can support Ukraine and its people.

UPDATED: How can people in Sweden help Ukraine?
The Swedish and Ukrainian flags on Gustaf Adolfs Torg in Gothenburg, Sweden. Photo Adam Ihse/TT

This article will remain completely free for everyone as a service to Sweden’s international community and to help support the people of Ukraine. But our coverage is only possible with our paying members’ support, so if you haven’t yet, please consider joining us to support our independent journalism. Thank you.

Over the past weeks, it’s been impossible to ignore the ongoing war in Ukraine. Scenes of destruction and human suffering, fears of the conflict escalating and worries for any friends and family in the country have led many to feel powerless and unsure of how best to help.

Though we as individuals may not be able to place sanctions on Russia directly, or provide warehouses full of military supplies to Ukraine, there are many real and direct ways we can support the people of Ukraine and their fight for democracy. Here are a few of them.

Provide housing

Sweden does not yet have an official authority or register for those wishing to offer Ukrainian refugees a place to stay privately, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible.

The Migration Agency told The Local in a press conference that it is working on a solution to make this possible, but recommended that those able to offer housing do so via voluntary organisations instead.

One association you can contact is CareBridge, a group offering buses from the Ukraine/Poland border to Sweden, where refugees are matched with hosts offering accommodation.

Their website includes a form where those interested in offering housing can sign up.

CareBridge told The Local via email that it places high important on safety and security for both host families and those arriving in Sweden. “At the moment we personally vet all the host families and check IDs at pick up. In a few weeks, we will have an app that will do the ID check through BankID. We also have a host team who checks in with refugees after they are settled to make sure they have what they need”.

“We collaborate with Refugees Welcome and other organisations,” CareBridge said. “We have a contact person on the Ukrainian side of the border who can find people who want to go to Sweden and match them with hosts even before they cross the border to Poland. On the bus we have a Ukrainian speaking host who can answer questions.”

Another possible way to offer housing or lodging for Ukrainian refugees is by contacting Refugees Welcome directly – they have a Sweden-wide branch, but also local branches in Malmö, Stockholm and Lidköping, as well as a housing branch collecting donations towards rent payments for refugees.

Another method of offering housing is via this Facebook group, matching those seeking accommodation with those who can provide it. Christel Prinsén, the woman behind this Facebook group, is also currently working on building a website to make this process easier and safer, with identity verification to protect those applying for housing and those offering it.

Please don’t hesitate to get in contact with The Local at [email protected] or under this post if you know of any other ways in which private individuals can offer housing to Ukrainians looking for shelter.

Donate to humanitarian organisations:

There are a number of humanitarian organisations on the ground in Ukraine helping in different ways. Here are some which you can donate to.

UNICEF

UNICEF is working to help children in Ukraine in a number of ways, including meeting needs for safe water, healthcare and protection, providing medical and education supplies, supporting psychosocial care to children in need and continuing efforts to address Covid-19 in Ukraine.

You can donate via their website or by sending money via Swish to 902 00 17. If you use Swish, write “Ukraina” as your message.

The Red Cross

The Red Cross are experienced working in Ukraine – they have been in the country for the last eight years. Their work in the country includes providing clean water, food and toiletries to families, first aid, psychological support, giving money to those in need, supplying hospitals with medical supplies and repairing vital infrastructure.

You can donate here or via Swish to 900 80 79.

UNHCR

The United Nations’ Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has been in Ukraine since 1994. UNHCR works to provide shelter for refugees, give emergency care, repair homes which have been destroyed, provide winter clothing and repair schools so that children can continue their education.

You can donate to UNHCR here or via Swish to 900 1645.

RFSL

RFSL, a Swedish organisation working for LGBT+ rights, is collecting donations to support Ukrainian LGBT+ organisations as well as assist in evacuating LGBT+ Ukrainians.

You can donate to RFSL via their website, or via Swish to 123 900 40 86.

Doctors Without Borders

Doctors Without Borders, also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres or Läkare Utan Gränser, are also active in Ukraine, providing healthcare within the country and in neighbouring border countries.

You can donate to Doctors Without Borders via their website or via Swish to 900 60 32. Note that this money will go to Doctors without Borders’ work in all countries and is not a specific campaign for Ukraine.

Donate to support Ukrainian media:

In the wake of Russia’s invasion, accurate information is more important than ever. But journalists working in the country are facing unprecedented challenges. 

As a result, media partners across Europe are joining forces to give Ukrainian outlets all the financial, operational and technical support they need at a very difficult time. 

And as the robust response to Vladimir Putin’s aggression from the EU and elsewhere has shown, coordinated challenges to Russia’s attack are entirely necessary to ensure that Ukraine can continue to operate as a modern, functioning democracy. 

If you would like to donate you can find all the information here, or in our article on this campaign.

Support the Ukrainian military directly:

To support the Ukrainian military directly, you can donate to Army SOS, which buys the supplies the army needs (including things like radio sets, uniforms, supplies and ammunition) and promises to deliver them straight to the front lines. You can also donate to the army via a special fund set up by the National Bank of Ukraine and to Come Back Alive, a foundation set up to support the Ukrainian military with by purchasing essential equipment like body armour and helmets.

Donate clothing:

Swedish outdoor clothing store Naturkompaniet are collecting clothes – coats, trousers, waterproofs, gloves, hats, socks, shoes – and sleeping bags to send to Ukraine. Donate in their stores from 25 Feb to 6 March. They will also be donating clothing and equipment, and covering all shipping costs.

Note that at the time of publication, the following stores were no longer accepting donations after receiving “an incredible amount” of donations: Skövde, Täby C, Sickla, Skövde, Kungsgatan 4 and Odengatan.

Join a solidarity protest

It may feel indirect compared to donating money or handing over physical aid at a collection point, but getting out on the streets in a show of solidarity with the people of Ukraine is a vital part of the picture.

Not only is it crucial at this juncture to show Ukraine the world is with them, but protesting is also a good way of channeling pent up frustration, anger or sadness into something productive and connecting with other people who are feeling the same way.

Push for an appropriate response

This one may take some reading up on, but if you’re passionate about, for example, toughening sanctions on Russia or ensuring a more robust response to the crisis from politicians, companies or sports teams you follow, it doesn’t hurt to put pressure on them. 

You can do this by tweeting them or writing to them directly to express your opinion. Of course, it’s best to do this politely and by stating a few key grounds for your opinions and asking them to take the action you propose, rather than having a rant (though that can feel very cathartic).

If you think an issue is being overlooked or needs a greater response from the public and politicians, you can also set up online petitions on sites like Avaaz.org and Change.org.

Do you know another way people in Sweden can help Ukraine which is not on our list? Tell us so we can update it – either comment this article or email us at [email protected]
 

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NORD STREAM

Sweden detects fourth leak at Nord Stream pipelines in Baltic Sea

A fourth leak has been detected in undersea pipelines running from Russia to Europe, the Swedish Coast Guard said Thursday, after pipeline explosions earlier this week in the Danish and Swedish economic zones, in suspected sabotage.

Sweden detects fourth leak at Nord Stream pipelines in Baltic Sea

“There are two leaks on the Swedish side and two leaks on the Danish side,” a Swedish Coast Guard official said, after three leaks were confirmed earlier this week on the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea.

The official added that the two leaks on the Swedish side are “close to each other”.

The Swedish coast guard could not immediately say why the latest leak only appeared days after the initial breaches. 

Media reported that the latest leak was detected at the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, but the coast guard did not confirm this. 

Sweden had previously reported a leak on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline northeast of Bornholm, while Denmark has confirmed a leak on Nord Stream 2 to the southeast of the island, and another to the northeast above Nord Stream 1.

The vast leaks cause significant bubbling at the surface of the sea several hundred metres wide, making it impossible to immediately inspect the structures. 

Suspicions of sabotage emerged after the leaks were detected. Moscow denied it was behind the explosions, as did the United States, saying Moscow’s suggestion it would damage the pipeline was “ridiculous”. 

The UN Security Council will meet Friday to discuss the incident.

The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which link Russia to Germany, have been at the centre of geopolitical tensions in recent months as Russia cut gas supplies to Europe in suspected retaliation against Western sanctions following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

While the pipelines — operated by a consortium majority-owned by Russian gas giant Gazprom — are not currently in operation, they both still contained gas.

On Thursday, NATO declared that the damage was “the result of deliberate, reckless and irresponsible acts of sabotage”.

“These leaks are causing risks to shipping and substantial environmental damage,” the Western military alliance said in a statement.

Danish officials said on Wednesday – prior to the discovery of the fourth leak – that more than half of the gas in the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea had leaked into the atmosphere after they were damaged.

“A clear majority of the gas has already come out of the pipes,” the head of the Danish Energy Agency, Kristoffer Böttzauw, told a press conference.

“We expect the rest to escape by Sunday,” he added.

Defence Minister Morten Bødskov said Wednesday morning that, due to pressure of the gas leaking out, it would take “one or two weeks” before inspections of the damaged structures could begin.

Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), said at a symposium in Paris that to him it was “very obvious” who was behind the leaks.

He said natural gas shortages in the wake of the war in Ukraine could make for a tough winter in Europe.

“In the absence of a major negative surprise, I think Europe, in terms of natural gas, can survive this winter with a lot of bruises in our bodies in terms of prices, economy and social issues, but we can go through that,” Birol said.

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