It’s been almost a year since Russian troops invaded Ukraine, began missile, drone and artillery attacks, hitting major cities like Kiev, and displaced millions of innocent civilians.
Since their attack, which began on February 24, Russian forces have focussed their attention on striking Ukrainian power facilities, fuel storage depots and water works – one of the country’s most vital infrastructures.
This winter, it’s now estimated that more than 10 million people will be forced to live without electricity, heat, and water. Worse still, temperatures are expected to fall to a bitter and frightening –20C degrees.
Today, Wednesday, December 21, will mark the darkest day of the year around the world. And, to show support to Ukraine, organisations such as UNITED24, the global creative network 1 Granary, the alternative media organisation War Against War, and several members of the Parliament of Ukraine, are coming together to participate in the #LightUpUkraine appeal.
The appeal invites people to come together in a symbolic act of support for Ukraine and turn off their Christmas lights for an hour.
Supporters are also invited to encourage city landmarks (e.g. museums, theatres and, city halls) to join in and turn off non-essential lights, and spread awareness about the campaign, which is part of a $10m fundraising drive for generators for hospitals across the war-torn country, via social media.
Prague will also join the international action and the lights of the Christmas tree will be turned off for a minute at 19:40.
The event is organized by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.
Its main goal is to draw the world’s attention to the catastrophic situation in which the residents of Ukraine find themselves due to the targeted Russian attacks on its energy infrastructure.
The date was chosen not coincidentally: 21 December is the day of the winter solstice, i.e. the “darkest” day of the year.