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  • Oleh Orlov

The Fortress: how Ukrainian spirit, international crowd-sourcing and cooperation work to combat evil

International experts had given Kyiv 96 hours before capitulating to the russian attack. Yet today marks the 40th day of this war. Despite the onslaught of enemy rockets, tanks and bombs, Kyiv still stands. It will continue to stand. Kyiv, like every Ukrainian city, will never give up.

We owe this reality to the heroic efforts of our Ukrainian Armed Forces and Territorial Defense.We owe this to the virtue and endurance of our civilian population, who continue to bear the weight of this horrific assault and who suffer the continued violence of the invaders’ boots, bullets, and shells as their villages and cities are destroyed. And we owe this to the tremendous effort of all those volunteers who work tirelessly day and night to feed, heal, and provide for our brave heroes and those in need.

The horizontally integrated, decentralized network of volunteers in Ukraine and abroad is the mighty force that putin overlooked as he plotted to destroy our nation. But this kind of force cannot be destroyed. Diverse in form and size, dispersed throughout the world, this type of collective action is capable of solving problems and achieving goals where even the largest state actors and international organizations fail.

The Fortress is one of the many important hubs in this network of aid and support. Its work is united by one core idea: to protect basic human rights and values. Since the first day of war, volunteers at the Fortress have been cooking warm meals and providing dry rations, medical supplies, and equipment to more than 5,000 defenders of Kyiv each day. Volunteers at the Fortress have been identifying Ukrainian civilians in need and delivering food, clothes, and medical supplies to hospitals and bomb shelters in Kyiv and nearby cities. They have been providing temporary shelter and assistance to refugees trying to escape to a safer place. They have also been donating stocks of food, clothes, and supplies to partnering charitable organizations.

Certainly, these kinds of hubs are vitally important to the defense of Ukraine, as they can assess needs on the ground in real-time and then organize immediate action. Responding swiftly, they connect people from all walks of life, uniting their resources, skills, and knowledge in one concerted effort. Here there is no centralized organization, no single source of funding, nor any one sole supply chain that keeps things running. It is the people who keep these places alive, giving all they can provide, helping where they are able. One person helps by offering strategic planning and management skills, another cooks or drives, and another provides the trucks and storage facilities, fuel, money, etc. It is truly a collective and collaborative work.

The international help of the friends of Ukraine is also vitally important. The leaders and propagandists of russia claim that they attack only military objects. In reality, they bomb civilian infrastructure: schools and hospitals, medical and food storage facilities, farms and culture centers. No doubt, the consequences of this destruction will negatively impact the world economy in the long-term. But in the short-term, securing the immediate delivery of supplies to Ukraine is crucial to stopping the kremlin’s war.

We are truly grateful for all our friends from all over the world who collect and deliver food, medicines, and other supplies to Ukraine. Without your help it would be quite difficult for Kyiv and other cities to resist the aggressor.

SilverUkraine has been partnering with the Fortress since the first day of this terrible war. Our assistance is just a single drop of good. But many drops combined together create powerful streams.

Ukraine still needs your support to win this fight. If you want to help the Fortress with money, food, medicines, or in any other way, please feel free to contact us.

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