Kyiv club ∄ has launched a new initiative in a bid to build a community fund for Ukrainian creatives that have been affected by the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
As DJ Mag reports, the team from the establishment “aim to provide support to the musical and cultural community that has been facing life-threatening challenges since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine”.
The ∄ Community Fund will help support cultural people in need in Kyiv and Ukraine, organise transport within Ukraine and abroad, organise shelters, facilitate jobs in the EU, organise housing, help people seek psychological and financial support, and assist with structuring vitally important information.
“During the last two years, we, the ∄ team, have been working on building up a safer space, which has become a place of refuge for thousands of people from all around the world, a place of culture, music and art with the values of love, respect and mutual support at its very core,” a post on the fund’s website read.
“In this moment of unprecedented crisis we are doing everything in our power to help members of our community, artists and more than 150 employees of ∄, whose livelihood is in jeopardy: support them financially, help them find a safe place in Ukraine or abroad, help them cross the border, enable them to receive humanitarian, legal and psychological aid.”
The post goes on to explain that members of the ∄ team are currently “all over Europe”, with some remaining in Kyiv, others residing in different cities in Ukraine and some having escaped abroad.
“Regardless of the distance between us, we all keep on working: some of our employees have joined the Territorial Defense Forces, some are volunteering in cities and some are helping from afar,” they added.
Additionally, the club has set up a Telegram bot that allows members of its community to make contact to send requests regarding evacuation, financial support and shelter.
“We are also working on informing the public about the situation in Ukraine, and communicating with media partners and other institutions,” the post continued.
“We sincerely believe that there will soon be a time when we will be able to resume our work. In the meantime, we ask for your help to support our community and ensure that this future is possible.”
You can visit the website and donate to the ∄ Community Fund here. At the time of writing, the fund has raised €19,427 (£16,328) of its €60,000 (£50,431) target figure in the five days since it went live.
Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a military assault on Ukraine in the early hours of February 24.
The actions of Putin, who claimed that Russia does not intend to occupy Ukraine and that his country’s actions amount to a “special military operation”, have drawn widespread condemnation from across the globe.
As The Guardian reports, at least 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed so far during Russia’s ongoing invasion of the country. At least 636 civilians have died in the conflict, the UN Human Rights office (OHCHR) said on Monday (via CNN). It’s said that 1,125 civilians have been injured.
Speaking to NME from London late last month, Ukrainian electro-pop duo Bloom Twins described the current situation in their home country as “terrifying”.
“It has really affected us,” singer Anna Kuprienko said. “We were only there two months ago. We were hopeful that this situation with Russia wouldn’t go where it has and that it would resolve.”
Meanwhile, the likes of Arcade Fire, Patti Smith and Franz Ferdinand have played benefit shows to raise funds for those affected by the crisis. Elsewhere, acts including Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Iggy Pop, My Chemical Romance and Green Day have cancelled their planned shows in Russia and Ukraine.