An update on our Kakhovka dam response and how you can continue to support our work addressing the devastating consequences of the catastrophe, and a plea to advocate for #UkraineInNATO in the run-up to the Vilnuius NATO Summit on July 11-12. Get plugged in to our advocacy work to learn about what Ukraine needs, now, to win.
Dear Friends of Razom,
Thank you so much for your generous outpouring of donations and support following the urgent appeal to help victims of the devastation caused by russia’s destruction of the Kakhovka dam on June 6th. The consequences of this disaster — human suffering and ecological devastation — will likely be felt for years to come.
Very early on our team understood that to respond effectively, we needed to find long-term solutions. That’s how within a couple of weeks since the disaster, 10 water purification systems are already being installed in settlements across Kherson and Dnipro regions where there is no more water supply. This will provide drinking water for up to 36,000 people per day (more than 1 million per month). Razom is also providing for the replacement materials needed to service the stations long-term and for the water quality to remain high. We had worked effectively with WiseWater, an ingenious Ukrainian manufacturer who adapted these filtration systems with German parts for minimum human intervention and maximum efficiency and reliability, since May 2022 to help supply drinking water to Mykolaiv in the south and Konstantinivka in Donetsk region after russians bombed water pipelines there.
Our emergency response in Kherson also included Razom Relief releasing grants to several grassroots organizations within our network to mobilize quickly to offer humanitarian aid, evacuations, and refugee support in areas north of the region. Our partners Rescue Now, set up a base in Kherson that serves as a logistical hub for humanitarian aid for numerous NGOs and as a temporary shelter for evacuees. With support from Razom, they purchased 5 five-seater boats, 8,500 liters of bottled drinking water, 41 water filters, 600 water disinfection tablets, 300 blankets, 30 tourniquets, 38 fishing suits, 6 Ecoflow charging stations and hundreds of liters of fuel for the buses that transport the humanitarian aid. Meanwhile our partners, “Zakhyst” from Khmelnytskyi, are able to support up to 1,000 refugees with basic essentials and therapy in partnership with our “Razom With You” project.
Razom is multifaceted support for Ukraine which means that Razom Advocacy has been hard at work mitigating the longer term consequences of this disaster and helping Ukraine prevent future russian-made catastrophes. Over 2,000 advocates in our network across the US were mobilized to contact their Congressional representatives and ask for support for the resolution declaring Ukraine’s invasion as genocide (H.Res. 154 / S.Res. 72). You can join that network here. The team has also worked to connect Ukrainians deeply affected by the flood with major media outlets so that the stories of Ukrainians in the region are heard.
You can find a deeper report of our Kakhovka Dam response here on our website.
Our team at Razom Advocacy is laser focused on advocating for policy that will help Ukraine achieve swift victory.
In the run-up to the Vilnius NATO Summit on July 11-12, we’re calling on the United States to join allies like France and the UK to invite Ukraine into NATO. Ukraine, Europe’s best hope for lasting peace and security in Ukraine and Europe. Join us on social media by posting about #UkraineInNATO – check out our thread and join us!
Want to be more involved? Our team has launched a weekly series of talking points/legislative asks for nationwide advocacy efforts. This document provides a list of critical legislation and messages about what Ukraine needs, now, to win.
Also our next Ukraine Action Summit will take place on October 22-24, 2023 so save the date and join us so that we can reach more of our elected representatives! In April, our team and the American Coalition for Ukraine convened gathering over 300 constituents from 34 states to receive advocacy training and meet with their members of Congress to advocate for policies to help Ukraine. Together, we reached 33% of US Congress.
Over the past several weeks, various Razom team members have traveled to Ukraine, London, and Oslo to connect with and learn from civil society leaders, further strengthen our partnerships, and hear directly from people on the ground on priorities, efforts, and challenges surrounding the war. We are lucky to work with such dedicated and inspired individuals, partners, and allies.
It was an honor to participate in the Oslo Freedom Forum and share stories of resilience and blueprints for victory with the global community of activists present. Eva Kurilets, Razom’s Executive Director in Ukraine, spoke on a panel alongside Taiwanese legislator and metal band singer Freddy Lim, Syrian refugee and human rights activist Omar Alshogre, and Washington Post journalist Josh Rogin, highlighting the solidarity between Syrians, Ukrainians, and the Taiwanese in their fight against a network of violent, autocratic regimes. It was spectacular to hear and see so much solidarity and support for Ukraine across so many different communities and struggles for freedom, human rights, and dignity and connect with like-minded and motivated civil society leaders from around the world.
A Razom-supported feature documentary Rule of Two Walls had its World Premiere at Tribeca 2023 with 4 sold out screenings, each attended by the filmmaking team as well as the artists that were featured in the documentary to make sure there is a strong Ukrainian representation at one of the largest international film festivals in New York City. What’s more, this talented team walked away from the festival with a Special Jury Prize for Human Rights and Artistic Expression!
Klondike will have its US theatrical release on August 4th, 2023 from Samuel Goldwyn Films!
Razom proudly supported Klondike at its Sundance Premiere – and it is one of the most acclaimed titles from last year’s Sundance, where it picked up the top directing awards in its World Cinema Dramatic category. Maryna Er Gorbach’s Klondike premiered just weeks before russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Set in 2014, Ukraine’s Oscar entry for International Feature follows a pair of expectant parents living in eastern Ukraine near the frontlines of the Donbas war. After an international air-crash catastrophe elevates the tension enveloping them, pregnant Irka (Oxana Cherkashyna) refuses to be evacuated and leave her home, even as their village is captured by russian armed forces.
Razom is partnering with PBS to support the US theatrical release of an award-winning documentary 20 Days in Mariupol opening July 14th at the Film Forum in NYC.
February 2022: As russian troops advance on the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, a small crew of Associated Press reporters are trapped amongst the besieged civilian population. 20 DAYS IN MARIUPOL — winner of the 2023 Sundance Audience Award for World Cinema Documentary — is the unflinching visual chronicle of this harrowing ordeal. Ukrainian war correspondent Mstyslav Chernov (he directs, shoots, and narrates) and colleagues are the only international correspondents left in the city, witnesses to the first sighting of a “Z” on a russian tank (a declaration of war), random shelling, the bombing of a maternity hospital, the digging of mass graves, and russia’s eventual encirclement of the city. Their images of war crimes would soon go viral, potently exposing russia’s monstrous lies that deny their targeting of Ukrainian civilians, and earning the AP team two 2023 Pulitzer Prizes: for Public Service Journalism and Breaking News Photography.
You can get your tickets here.
To celebrate Crimean Tatar Flag Day and the Crimean Tatar Muslim holiday of Kurban Bayram, you’re invited to join us tomorrow, Sat July 1st at the Ukrainian National Home to celebrate Crimean Tatar culture through music, dance, and food. Do not miss this opportunity to learn more about the indigenous people of Ukraine! More info and here.
If you’re in the Berkshires July 1st or 2nd, then don’t miss this event!
With an immersive installation that will transform the theater into an ancient Ukrainian forest, this production centers around a classic Ukrainian art film of the same name. It pushes the boundaries of traditional musical performance while exploring what a group of talented, multicultural musicians have created, using traditional Ukrainian folk music as source material, and sharing immigration and refugee stories.
Details & tickets here.
PROBASS ∆ HARDI– Ukraine’s top trending electronic band is launching its first tour in the US!
Their hit songs such as “Good Evening, Where Are You From? (Good Evening, We Are From Ukraine)” and others have been streamed over 80 million times.
Get your tickets here before they sell out!
Thank you so much for reading this newsletter (and forwarding it on!), for keeping up to date with Razom, and for your support of Ukraine. We’re so glad you’re here.