‘Victory is our hope’: Older Ukrainians on six months of war

by | Aug 24, 2022 | World

Thirty-one years ago, on August 24, 1991, Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union – a date celebrated as the country’s Independence Day.But far from the parades, fireworks and concerts of times past, this year the day also marks six months since Russia’s invasion and the start of the Ukraine war – a full-scale assault that has ravaged the country and its people.
Six months on, 17.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection. Mass displacement continues, with 6.4 million Ukrainian refugees in Europe and a further 6.6 million having fled their homes for safer areas within the country.
A quarter of Ukraine’s population is over 60, according to HelpAge International, a charity that supports older people. Even before this war, one in every three people affected by the conflict in Eastern Ukraine since 2014 was older.
Older people are among those who have been displaced or who have become refugees, while others remain at home through choice or their lack of mobility. Many need specific support in terms of healthcare, emotional support or crucial hard-to-get supplies; yet older people’s needs are often overlooked by the humanitarian response, HelpAge reports.
At the same time, there are many older people volunteering to do all they can to support others in need.
We spoke with some of these volunteers to hear their memories of Ukrain …

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