The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is devastating for the people of Ukraine. Thousands of civilians and Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in the Russian invasion and this number will continue to rise as Russian forces push further into Ukraine.
Sadly, this isn’t new territory for Ukraine. Since 2014, over 14,000 people have died in fighting in the eastern part of Ukraine. TAPS International has worked with Ukraine since 2015. In 2018, we worked to stand up TAPS-Ukraine. TAPS Ukraine supports the families of the 14,000 Ukrainians who've died and now they'll be supporting thousands more families who've lost their loved one in this current conflict.
In 2015, the US Department of State came to TAPS and asked us to assist Ukraine in developing a program to support the families of the military deceased from the ongoing conflict.
In 2014, Russian backed separatists in the Donbas Region of Ukraine began armed conflict with Ukraine. The conflict continued in the eastern part of Ukraine for years and over 14,000 Ukrainians were killed, and 1.2 million people were displaced.
Seeing the TAPS model of care over countless meetings in both Washington D.C., Kyiv, and Ukraine, TAPS Ukraine was created to provide the TAPS peer-based model of care to all those grieving the death of their military loved one.
TAPS Ukraine was officially established in 2018. TAPS Ukraine is an independent NGO staffed by Ukrainians and fully funded by donations. Based in Dnipro, TAPS Ukraine has supported thousands of Ukrainians grieving the death of their military loved one via seminars and retreats, by providing resources and information around grief and trauma, and connecting Ukrainian survivors to professional counseling.
TAPS International has a memorandum of understanding with our sister organization in Ukraine. We've held conferences sharing best practices in trauma care for veterans and survivors. We've translated our materials into Ukrainian. Our staff meet monthly to share information and share our years of expertise in caring for families of military deceased.
As the conflict escalates in Ukraine, we continue to support TAPS Ukraine and all those who stand up for freedom and democracy in Ukraine. We're in touch daily with the leadership of the TAPS Ukraine and helping to meet the list of needs they share. Families of those killed in Ukraine need supplies from baby formula to sleeping bags. Any funds collected by TAPS International will be transmitted directly to TAPS Ukraine.
To learn more about TAPS Ukraine, visit their Facebook page or see their Ukrainian website.
Photos: 2019 TAPS International Visit to Eastern Ukraine | 2018 TAPS International Military Trip to Ukraine
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