Peer Event

Global Philanthropy’s Crucial Role in Ukraine on the Second Anniversary of Russia’s Invasion

Join this online event, hosted by Philea and the Council on Foundations, to learn more about the present state of Ukraine and opportunities for philanthropy.

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Free to Grantmakers - Members and Non-Members

Global philanthropy generously provided initial humanitarian aid to the Ukraine crisis caused by Russia's unprovoked war, offering essential support like food, clothing, and shelter. Yet, as Putin's invasion shows no signs of ending, Ukrainians confront escalating needs. Despite reduced news coverage, Ukraine’s large-scale devastation and human suffering demand a renewed philanthropic commitment.
Join this online event, hosted by Philea, Mott Foundation, and the Council on Foundations, to learn more about the present state of Ukraine and opportunities for philanthropy. This event will feature remarks by: 

  • Timothy Snyder, renowned Yale University Historian and Author of Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin and The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America
  • Ondřej Liška, Regional Director, Europe, at Porticus 
  • Yuliya Tychkivska, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Kyiv, which supports values-based leadership, promotes a culture of dialogue and creates opportunities for the exchange of ideas 
  • Delphine Moralis, CEO of Philea will moderate the discussion

Event Summary

Yuliya Tychkivska, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Kyiv: It is clearer than ever that Russia is not just aiming to capture territory but is waging a genocidal war against Ukraine. The economic situation is extremely challenging with over half the budget dedicated to Ukraine’s defense needs. International support remains vital and $300 billion of frozen Russian assets abroad should urgently be used to pay for Ukraine’s recovery. Regarding the social situation, Ukrainian society is exhausted and burned out but remains united and focused on victory. Social stability is maintained thanks to strong horizontal connections and dedicated civil society organizations that inspire Ukrainians to continue their fight for freedom. The top political question for Ukrainians is how to strike a balance between national security requirements and an unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s democratic principles. 

Communication with the international community is crucial as Ukrainians deal with this existential threat. What would happen next if Ukraine were to be erased as a sovereign state and nation?  How would it impact democracy, the economy, and security globally?  

What are the best ways to assist Ukraine now? The first priority is to help arm Ukraine’s soldiers on the frontline.  Other priority needs include rehabilitation of veterans, civic education, humanitarian demining, social dialog and cohesion, cultural diplomacy, and combatting disinformation. 

Ondřej Liška, Regional Director, Europe, at Porticus: Ukraine has responded to the war astonishingly and civil society has become the heart of the Ukrainian nation. Civil society has provided innovation, transparency, scrutiny, and efficiency in delivering assistance. However, international attention to the war and the desperate needs of Ukrainians is decreasing and there has been less talk of bold aid packages.  

Our role is to keep creating space for Ukrainian voices, be it with governments or be it with events such as this.  Ukrainians are under two kinds of pressure – they wage war against the invading Russian military but there is also a struggle for global attention. And we have to assist them – to push our governments to provide security and military support but also to create enough space to hear Ukrainian voices. 

Philanthropy in Europe has been working with Ukrainian civil society for many years.  Emergency humanitarian aid was mobilized very quickly.  Now the focus is on challenges like education and psycho-social support. Are we able to listen very carefully to the needs and the voices of Ukrainian civil society?   

Ukrainians ask European philanthropy to spread our assistance efforts to the grassroots. Let’s be as flexible as possible and not allow rules to stand in the way of helping. 

There have been increasing efforts among philanthropies to share knowledge, collaborate, coordinate open up their networks, and join forces.   

Timothy Snyder, Yale University Historian: Regarding American sentiment about the war, the American elite is pretty sound on this issue overall, American public opinion is pretty sound on this issue too, and there is a majority for passing aid to Ukraine in both houses of the American Congress.  At the same time, we have a very organized minority in the U.S. House of Representatives, led by the Speaker of the House, who in turn is following the instructions of Donald Trump.  That organized minority has for the last 4 or 5 months prevented the United States from passing aid.  It is a problem which will hopefully be overcome.  

Many people think in terms of what we are doing for the Ukrainians. But the geopolitical and moral stakes have to do with what Ukrainians are already doing for us.  Ukraine has been defending the international order of the postwar period that Russia is now trying to undermine. Autocratic Russia has been trying to destroy democratic Ukraine and Ukraine’s victory is essential to stopping democratic decline globally.  Ukrainians are absorbing the war by themselves but with foreign assistance, they are doing the work that NATO was designed to do. Ukraine’s success has an impact on China’s ambitions and global energy politics.  

As for Philanthropy, when it does get down to the grassroots it has been life-changing.  By helping the right people we’ve made sure that quite a few Ukrainians, rather than being handlers and fixers for Westerners, have the opportunity through their art, their journalism, whatever their discipline or profession might be, to carry their concept or agency to us.

As stated by the moderator of the discussion, Delphine Morales of Philea, 100% of the population of Ukraine are victims of the war. 

In partnership with:

Philea       Charles Stewart Mott Foundation





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