Two years since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine 

Photo: Stas Urchenko, Graty

Two years have passed since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Ever since the start of the war, Civil Rights Defenders has supported affected human rights defenders so that they can continue doing their important work. And we will continue for as long as it takes. 

While trying to survive, many people have stayed in Ukraine to try and document what is happening in the country. Organisations have switched from working with civic rights issues to now documenting war crimes. Many in Ukraine are now either soldiers or activists and volunteers. 

Civil Rights Defenders work with supporting those who have stayed, defending human rights. Among other things, we have: 

💛 Helped over 350 journalists with emergency support, including providing first aid kits and flak jackets.  

💙Helped activists with insurance, medical equipment, mobile power plants, and satellite internet so they can continue their important work.  

💛 Provided psycho-social support to journalists on the front line and civic activists from the temporary occupied territories of Ukraine. 

💙 Helped human rights defenders with urgent evacuations and temporary relocations to safe places.  

💛Provided legal support to victims of international crimes and human rights violations. 

💙Supported independent media covering the war and human rights violations.  

💛 Organised advocacy activities in Brussels, Warsaw, and Stockholm together with our partners, which led to that names were added on the sanctions list of individuals being complicit in crimes against Ukrainian children. 

Civil Rights Defenders awarded for work in Ukraine 

Hanna Gerdes, Chair of the Board at Civil Rights Defenders and Lina Kushch First Secretary at the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine.

Civil Rights Defenders received the 2024 National Award for the Protection of Freedom of Speech, a yearly award issued by the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU). NUJU is the largest journalist organisation in Ukraine, consisting of more than 18,000 members before the war.     

“NUJU awards Civil Rights Defenders for the dedicated support provided to Ukrainian journalists and human rights defenders. Especially in the circumstances of the war, we want to emphasise the significant contribution of Civil Rights Defenders as a partner of an initiative to document war crimes against media workers,” said Sergiy Tomilenko, president at NUJU.     

With the support of Civil Rights Defenders, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine documents journalists’ testimonies of war crimes, submits international reports, and draws international attention to crimes against media workers during the war.   

Support our work 

We work to keep human rights defenders safe and supported. You can be a part of helping human rights defenders in Ukraine continue their work by donating to our work, strengthening human rights defenders in some of the world’s most repressive regions. 

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