Aid groups and Ukrainians in the Netherlands have begun organising a wide variety of efforts to support Ukraine and people fleeing the war, including demonstrations, fund raising and identifying potential lodgings for refugees.
On Sunday a demonstration will take place on Dam square in central Amsterdam from 1pm and other demos and protests are taking place in other towns and cities.
Refugee aid group Stichting Vluchteling and the Red Cross have so far raised €1.5m with their appeals. Support group Ukrainians in NL is also raising money for the relief effort.
Dutch online bank Bunq, whose founder lived through the Iran Iraq war as a child, has pledged to help as many people – Ukrainians and Russians – to safety as possible.
‘If you are affected and all you want to do is live in peace and harmony, please send your details to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do everything in our power to get you over to the Netherlands under an HSM visa,’ Aki Niknam said in an email to account holders.
‘If you can provide shelter, harbour people or have any other ideas on how we can help please contact us too.’
Olga Permiakova, a visual artist who came to the Netherlands eight years ago to study at the Rietveld art school, told DutchNews.nl that she is still coming to terms with what is happening.
The most important thing to do know is to convince European and world leaders about the danger the invasion of Ukraine poses for Europe, she said.
‘I understand that no other country will actually take part in the conflict, that they will only bring in economics sanctions and supply some weapons, but I am really afraid this is not enough,’ she said.
‘My family left their home in Kyiv and two hours later there were tanks on the streets…they were driving to the west which is relatively safe and the Russian planes were flying over their heads. It is the 21st century and this is happening in the middle of Europe.’
Oil and gas
Dmitry Syrotovsky, who has lived in the Netherlands with his family for 1.5 years, told DutchNews.nl he hoped that world leaders would cut off Putin’s regime from financial aid by stopping buying Russian coal, gas and oil.
‘We know it will be painful for people in the EU, but we believe that solidarity is not an empty word to the Dutch,’ he said. ‘And we hope that the Dutch and their elected officials will make the right choice and support the fight of the Ukrainian people against the bloody Putin regime.’
Meanwhile, Andrii Degeler, the journalist from Groningen who was visiting his mother in Ukraine on the day of invasion, can be followed on Twitter via @adegeler
If you know of ways people in the Netherlands can help, please email email@example.com.
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