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Word “library” is written in Cyrillic script on the building behind the local market that burned down in the bombing of Kharkiv city by the Russian forces. Kharkiv city, Ukraine, 25 May 2022. © Tetiana Gaviuk/Nonviolent Peaceforce
Our Work In Ukraine

The need for protection in Ukraine

Although the headlines are dominated by news of heavy shelling and of Russian troop movement, the conflict has created multi-faceted crises and widespread needs. Within these spaces, a need for protection is clear.

  • Protection of vulnerable populations. From children, to LGBTQI+ communities, to people with disabilities and illnesses and the elderly, there are many who are either displaced, or they are unable or unwilling to evacuate, especially those who are living in institutions or hospitals. Not only are they at risk of injury or death from the war, but also are struggling to find food or the medicine they need to survive. 
  • Protection within communities. Ukrainians have shared with us their concern over tensions rising within communities as the war drags on - especially the longer host communities in the West maintain support for millions of displaced families from the East. Without proactive relationship building and protection now, tensions rising in the future, coupled with the wide availability of weapons could lead to violence within local communities. 
  • Protection of the environment. War degrades the environment and the harm only worsens with the proliferation of weapons and militarization. In Ukraine, the harm to the environment could be catastrophic with the risk of attacks on nuclear and chemical facilities, use of cluster munitions, and unexploded ordnance (e.g. mines).

NP's work in Ukraine

During our rapid response and start-up phase, NP has been meeting with key people on the ground around the country—such as women’s shelters, student groups, and humanitarian partners—to collaborate on how and what way these groups would welcome UCP strategies. In violent conflict, there are a lot of unknown factors, but the strength of NP is we adapt to context and needs by listening to local people. 

From connecting an elderly man named Yuri to the medical services he needed in Kharkiv, to assisting a woman with heat sickness in Mykolaiv, NP is advocating for civilian needs and capabilities to the international community. 

See more: Preliminary Findings | Kharkiv Snapshot (English / Ukrainian) | Mykolaiv Snapshot

The future of NP's work in Ukraine

NP will focus on addressing urgent civilian protection needs for vulnerable communities across Mykolaiv, Kharkiv, and Odesa Oblasts. The team will provide protection for communities in hard-to-reach places and connect them to humanitarian services like food, water, and medicine. NP will be assisting vulnerable populations, such as single  parent  households,  child-headed  households, unaccompanied  minors,  the  elderly, those  living  with  disabilities, and  LGBTQI+  people.

Word “library” is written in Cyrillic script on the building behind the local market that burned down in the bombing of Kharkiv city by the Russian forces. Kharkiv city, Ukraine, 25 May 2022. © Tetiana Gaviuk/Nonviolent Peaceforce

Population: 44.13M (2020)

Internally Displaced: 8M

Stranded Outside Ukraine: 13M

Humanitarian Need: 12M

Ukraine program began in 2022

Our Impact

Since February 2022, NP in Ukraine has:
Key Informant Interviews completed 
Oblasts where the NP team has assessed ongoing protection needs of civilians (Lviv, Kyiv, Kharkiv,  Dnipropetrovsk, Odesa)
reports produced on civilian protection needs and responses in Ukraine (National, Kharkiv, and Mykolaiv focus)

Our Team in Ukraine

Startup Director: Felicity Gray Current work start: Feb 2022
First NP presence: 2014

“My husband broke his hip before the war. He can’t walk.

Volunteers could have helped us to evacuate, but what would we do after the evacuation? Conditions in collective centers are overcrowded. How would I take care of him there?”

Tatiana and Konstantin, an elderly couple in Kharkiv
Read Our Stories


In Ukraine, and around the world, civilians are paying the cost of conflict. Violence isn't solving problems – but we know there's another way. Join us to protect civilians and transform the world's response to conflict.

Updates from the Ground

Kristina Preikšaitytė, Nonviolent Peaceforce Protection Officer, looks at the apartment building damaged by the Russian forces in Kharkiv city, Ukraine, 25 May 2022. © Tetiana Gaviuk/Nonviolent Peaceforce
June 6

Snapshots from Kharkiv

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Volunteers lay out juice boxes on a table in Dnipro, eastern Ukraine. Photo by: Mykola Myakshykov / Ukrinform /
JUNE 15 

Opinion: ‘We were ready’— learning from Ukraine’s locally led response

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Tatiana sits beside her husband Konstantin in their apartment in Kharkiv city, Ukraine. Konstantin is unable to walk and the couple remain in their apartment during the shelling. “We haven’t gone to the basement once”, Tatiana says. “It’s very scary to hear the bombing.” Kharkiv city, Ukraine, 26 May 2022. © Tetiana Gaviuk/Nonviolent Peaceforce.
JuLY 21

As Russia’s invasion continues, Ukraine’s elderly and disabled struggle to survive

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