Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has brought immeasurable suffering to millions of people. The war is directly affecting not only Ukrainian soldiers who are defending their homeland on the front lines, but also the civilian population, including elderly people, women and children. The Russian armed forces’ targeted attacks are having a severe impact on civilian infrastructure, including on the power plants that produce heat and electricity. Russia is thereby attempting to deprive people in Ukraine of the basic necessities of life. This is why the German Government is giving top priority to helping provide Ukrainians with precisely what they need.
Since the outbreak of the war, the German Government has made available more than 27.8 billion euro in bilateral support for Ukraine; this aid includes a substantial winter assistance programme, helping those who have fled Ukraine, and assisting efforts to investigate war crimes as well as humanitarian assistance and mine clearance operations.
For a regularly updated overview of bilateral support, click here (in German).
Military support for Ukraine
Ukraine must be able to defend itself against Russia’s war of aggression. Germany is therefore supporting Ukraine by supplying arms and equipment from its Bundeswehr stockpiles, as well as from defence industry deliveries that are paid for with funds from the German Government’s budget. When providing assistance, the German Government tailors its aid to the needs of Ukraine and continuously explores where it can step up its assistance, e.g. with regard to air defence.
Germany is also the largest contributor to the refinancing fund of the European Peace Facility (EPF), which so far has enabled the provision of 5.6 billion euro from across Europe; these funds are to be made available between 2022 and 2026, to support the delivery of military equipment from EU member states to the Ukrainian armed forces.
For a current overview of military support click here.
An unprecedented sanctions regime
For as long as Russia continues to brutally attack Ukraine, there must be consequences. Germany and its European partners have responded by imposing massive and unprecedented sanctions: cutting Russia off from international financial markets, substantial export bans, especially in the spheres of advanced technology, industry and energy, a price cap for Russian oil exports to third countries, wide-ranging import bans, e.g. on Russian coal, petroleum, iron and steel products, as well as gold and diamonds from Russia, tough measures targeting Russia’s aviation sector, and sanctions targeting Russia’s President Putin, Foreign Minister Lavrov, further political and military decision-makers, war criminals, propagandists and the network of oligarchs that supports them.
For more on the sanctions that are currently in effect, click here.
Documenting war crimes
With its war against Ukraine, Russia is also committing severe violations of international humanitarian law and massive human rights abuses, such as the killing and torture of civilians. The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has promptly initiated investigations. Germany is supporting the investigation effort, both financially and by seconding experts. The German Government is also assisting the Ukrainian authorities in this regard, for example by helping them obtain forensic equipment.
In view of the billions of euros of damage that Russia’s war of aggression has caused in Ukraine, it is important to put plans in place now for the future. That is why, together with Ukraine and our partners in the EU and the G7, the German Government is beginning to map out how Ukraine can rebuild. In December 2022, the G7 states and Ukraine agreed to establish an international Donor Coordination Platform for the country’s reconstruction. Although reconstruction will require significant international commitment, it also presents a great opportunity to invest in Ukraine’s future, i.e. to modernise the state and the economy, bring about ecological transformation and, not least, to implement national reforms and make progress towards EU accession. Together with Ukraine, Germany will also host the international reconstruction conference URC24 in Berlin from 11 to 12 June 2024.
As the second largest donor, the Federal Foreign Office is supporting partner organisations in Ukraine and neighbouring countries to reduce the country’s immense humanitarian needs.
Find out more about the reconstruction of Ukraine here.
Tremendous willingness to help
Many people in Germany have strong sympathy for the fate of people in Ukraine, and the tremendous willingness to help extends to civil society. The large number of donated items has resulted in aid organisations needing to do a significant amount of coordination work. The German Government therefore supports the appeal to refrain from donations in kind and whenever possible to donate money to established aid organisations instead. Donations can be made via Aktion Deutschland Hilft and the Disaster Relief Alliance. By adding the memo “Nothilfe Ukraine” (emergency aid for Ukraine) to bank transfers, the money will be spent on relief measures for people in Ukraine.
Your local German authorities can provide information on what refugees need in their temporary shelters and how one can take people in who have fled the fighting. For more details, click here.