As many of you already know, the political situation in Ukraine is close to a civil war. After a short period of cease-fire, serious and violent conflict has resumed between both sides of the conflict. Falling within the conflict-ravaged areas are such major, densely populated cities as Donetsk, Lugansk, Kramatorsk, and Slavyansk, where the civilian population, their residences damaged in the confrontation, flee for their lives, seeking refuge either in other parts of the country or across the border.
Needless to say that these operations badly affected our devotee communities in those cities as well. By Krsna’s grace, no devotee has been killed or injured in the conflict, although a few have had a very narrow escape. But while some of them continue risking their lives trying to maintain temple worship and programs, many find it necessary to relocate their families to safety, leaving their homes and possessions behind.
In order to help devotees in the affected and volatile regions of the country, leadership of the Ukrainian yatra have appealed to our communities across the country to provide shelter at their homes and flats to the devotee refugees, and many have already responded. There is also an asylum being organized at ISKCON retreat center near Dnepropetrovsk for single devotee moms with underage children, where they will be given accommodation and boarding. To facilitate the devotees’ safe and fast transfer from the dangerous zones, the Ukrainian leadership has also set up a centrally managed fund for travel and emergency expenses as well as for the maintenance of the underprivileged and dependent.
While the Ukrainian yatra has united in extending their financial, logistic and devotional help to the affected and displaced devotees, the conflict is escalating and there is no telling yet how many of them will soon need a helping hand, and for how long. If you wish to participate in this effort to protect devotees’ lives and secure their future, any contribution will be greatly appreciated.
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