Don’t forget the war in Ukraine

Aid initiative for the Ukrainians

From the first day of the war in Ukraine, Dimitri Becker of Baden-Baden organized aid transfers with his colleagues. Now he notices a waning willingness to help and wants to do something about it.

With the onset of the war, Dmitriy Becker began to support people to and from Ukraine – his homeland.

Photo: Catherine Koenig Derki

Dimitri Becker’s life has been turned upside down since war broke out in Ukraine on February 24. “Everything changed suddenly,” says the man, who was born in Kyiv and came to Germany in 1995 when he was 17 years old. For the first time, he felt that he was Ukrainian, and not a “child of the Soviet Union.” Baker felt an urgent need to help this attacking country, his homeland.

The peaceful presence in Baden-Baden completely changed: from the first day of the war, Becker, with the support of his colleagues and his employer – IKG Speditions GmbH in Steinbach – transferred organized aid to Ukraine. At the same time, he and his wife participated in helping the refugees who had arrived.

Sometimes friends from Kyiv were guests, and acquaintances from Ukraine sent shocking news and photos. For weeks he could barely sleep at all. “The head did not stand still. At one point I was just roaming around like a zombie.” Finally, Corona forced him to a virtual stop. “I fell into a state of complete exhaustion, had to stay in bed for several days.”

Decreased willingness to help refugees worries Baden-Baden residents

The disease showed Becker its limits. However, now he would like to work again for the people of Ukraine as well as for the refugees – in a “more normal” way. He worries about the waning desire to help. “At the beginning of the war there was real noise. Radio, television and the press also talked about our campaigns,” says Baker.

The people here have donated incredibly generous aid supplies, materials for refugees, and money. I have never experienced anything like this before, it has been overwhelming, and to all of these donors, my gratitude goes to all. I think Germans can be proud of how they reacted to this crisis.”

War doesn’t seem to burn much anymore, images of devastation are more or less a part of everyday life.

Dimitri Becker, member of “Team Help Ukraine”

But now he notices that some kind of confusion is taking place. “The war is no longer so turbulent, images of destruction are more or less a daily life. But the current situation is not better, it is worse.” Politics in the West is focused on the delivery of weapons and money for rearmament, he says. But for the people of Ukraine, This “is not the immediate deciding factor”.

In Ukraine, there is a shortage of food, hygiene supplies and medicines

All is missing: the cost of living has skyrocketed, and many people are unemployed and have no income at all; The population needs food, hygiene items and medicine. The second challenge is the on-site refugee offensive: Meanwhile, nearly 2,000 refugees from Ukraine have been housed in Baden-Baden alone.

“During the first weeks of the war, a network of helpers sprang up around my team,” Becker says. “We founded the “Team Help Ukraine” initiative, I even created a website for it. In order to be able to help on different levels in the future, we still need the support of the local people.”

By the way, Becker has been worried since Russia’s annexation of Crimea, which has deepened him through events, especially during the weeks of intercultural contact in Baden-Baden: he wants to create an understanding of East Slavic culture, and also the complex backgrounds, of the former Soviet Union uniting hotbeds of tension . “It would be too easy to declare Putin, with his imperial delusions, the sole culprit,” he says.

It would be all too easy to blame Putin, with the illusions of imperialism, as the sole culprit

Dimitri Becker, member of “Team Help Ukraine”

Becker believes: “The situation in the East has been complicated for a long time, and since 2014 I have been trying to clarify the historical ties here and address the division between peoples.” However, Dimitri Becker will not give up.

Aid Network “Team Help Ukraine”

More information about assistance projects in Dmitriy Becker under www.team-help-ukraine.org.

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