Baby from Ukraine living in Moldova

History of Ukraine

More information on the history and background as to the context of the conflicts in the Ukraine.


The war in Ukraine began in 2014, when the Russian Federation took over Crimea and occupied the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.  

On 24th February 2022, the full-scale invasion prompted a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented proportions and ongoing fighting has forced thousands of families and their children to flee. 

The ongoing bombardments and attacks on civilians have left millions of children traumatised and living in constant fear. 

Millions of families have been internally displaced and had their lives torn apart, with children not knowing if and when they will be able to return to school or return home. 

What is the population of Ukraine? 
44 million (before the war) 

What is the national language in Ukraine? 

What is the capital city of Ukraine? 


*Red pins show areas where we work. 

What is happening in Ukraine today? 

Following the full-scale Russian invasion, the war in Ukraine continues to have a devastating impact. Ukraine has faced ongoing bombardments, many of which have been targeting civilians - breaching international law.  

As key infrastructure is attacked, access to basic essentials like gas, food, water or electricity are at risk. Tragically, 6.6 million civilians have been internally displaced, and over 7 million have been forced to flee to neighbouring countries like Poland, Romania, Hungary and Moldova to seek shelter and safety. 13 million have been left stranded in dangerous areas. While Ukraine forces have been able to successfully recapture certain regions, Russia continues to launch airstrikes on civilians, targeting bridges, apartments and hospitals, putting innocent lives at risk.   

A brief overview of how we have helped

  • In Ukraine, we have been dispatching mobile teams to reach frontline areas to support children and families with urgent mental health needs; individual and group counselling; art and music therapy; support to kindergartens that were looted during the occupation. 
  • Operations in Moldova (the poorest country in Europe) have included work on mental health and meeting basic needs for vulnerable children and families in host community as well as refugees.  
  • Operations in Romania have been focused on education.  
  • Operations in Hungary have been focused on ensuring that some of the most vulnerable children, such as Roma refugees, receive crucial mental health and education services.  

Information on Roma  

The Roma are a marginalized group and face discrimination in their host country which can make seeking aid difficult.  We have found that Roma children are unable to access support in neighbouring countries and face discrimination seeking aid, like education, food vouchers and clothing. We are working with this community to help support their urgent needs and ensure that these children and their families are not forgotten.  

History of Ukraine

Brief historical summary of key events.


Period from 1917 - 1918

Rise of Soviet power after collapse of Russian empire. Ukraine declares independence.


Period from 1932 - 1937

Millions die in man-made famine during Stalin’s reign. Western Ukraine is annexed by the Soviet Union under the Nazi-Soviet pact.


Period from 1941 - 1944

Ukraine suffers millions of losses during World War 2. 


Period from 1953 - 1954

Nikita Khrushchev elected as the new leader of the USSR and transfers the Crimean Peninsula to Ukraine.


Period from 1960 - 1970

Increase in covert opposition to Soviet rule resulting in repression of dissidents in 1972.



Ukraine regains independence following attempted coup in Moscow. Crimean descendants return to Crimea following collapse of Soviet Union.


Period from 2000 - 2002

Chernobyl is shut down after a nuclear reactor explodes. Government looks to join NATO.


Period from 2004 - 2008

The Orange Revolution takes place and economic struggles follow.


Period from 2013 - 2014

Maidan Revolution takes place with protesters and demonstrations due to decision not to sign European Union-Ukraine Association Agreement, with security forces killing 77 people. Russian forces annex Crimea. Petro Poroshenko wins presidential election on pro-Western platform.


Period from 2015 - 2018

Ukraine begins renewed talks with members of European Union, economy starts to grow again. Putin creates route from Russia to Crimea.



Volodymyr Zelensky wins Presidential election.



Russia sends almost 100,000 troops to Ukraine's borders, alarming Nato. Putin asks to bar Ukraine from Nato membership.



State department orders the families of embassies to leave Ukraine. NATO countries forces on standby, including western countries like US, UK and European Union. On 24 February, Russia officially launches full-scale invasion in Ukraine.

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War Child UK Moldova Child Ukraine

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