Six years after conflict erupted in April 2014 between Russian-backed separatists and the Ukrainian military in eastern Ukraine, the war makes few headlines but isn’t over: more than 13,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands wounded – many of them civilians.
Hundreds of thousands of the 1.4 million Ukrainians displaced by the conflict remain without homes and living in frontline areas. Many of these are elderly people who have to cross the so-called “contact line” regularly to pick up government pensions and medical supplies.
Recently, Ukrainian and Russian political leaders have made overtures about seeking a negotiated solution, but genuine progress towards peace remains elusive, and February and March 2020 have seen renewed unrest and skirmishes.
Read more → The women of Ukraine's festering war
Ukraine’s conflict disproportionately affects elderly people, and aid groups have for years been treating thousands for hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease – all underlying conditions that make older people in particular more vulnerable to COVID-19.
Late last year video journalist Frederick Gillingham travelled to frontline areas in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region and gained access to the operations of some unlikely humanitarian workers: employees of the state utility company Voda Donbasa.
His film not only shows how this group of volunteer workers risks life and limb to keep services going in areas where land mines and shelling are constant threats, but it also offers a glimpse into the hardships of civilian life in an interminable conflict on the EU’s doorstep.
We uncovered the sex abuse scandal that rocked the WHO, but there’s more to do
We just covered a report that says the World Health Organization failed to prevent and tackle widespread sexual abuse during the Ebola response in Congo.
Our investigation with the Thomson Reuters Foundation triggered this probe, demonstrating the impact our journalism can have.
But this won’t be the last case of aid worker sex abuse. This also won’t be the last time the aid sector has to ask itself difficult questions about why justice for victims of sexual abuse and exploitation has been sorely lacking.
We’re already working on our next investigation, but reporting like this takes months, sometimes years, and can’t be done alone.
The support of our readers and donors helps keep our journalism free and accessible for all. Donations mean we can keep holding power in the aid sector accountable, and do more of this.