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UKRAINE

How people in Sweden can offer housing to Ukrainians

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.

How people in Sweden can offer housing to Ukrainians
Do you have an empty summer house which you'd like to offer to a family fleeing the war in Ukraine? Here's how. Photo: Fotograferna Holmberg/TT

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 if you want to rent out a room or property 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.”
 
Ukraine Take Shelter is another website offering this service. Their service is worldwide, and those wishing to offer housing can create an account to list their home or apartment and offer information such as whether children are welcome, what languages they speak, and how long refugees will be able to stay.

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.

If you are planning on renting out part of your home or your entire property, make sure you understand any rules from your housing association or landlord first, as well as any legal requirements. Here’s our guide.

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.

Although we have done our best to verify these housing services, we recommend that anyone looking to offer or rent housing via a service listed above take precautions to verify the identity of anyone they will be staying with and ensure all legal documents are in order to provide a good environment for all parties involved.

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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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