Dear readers – MERE colleague Danielle Wilde is part of the FUSILLI (Fostering Urban food System transformation through Innovative Living Labs Implementation) EU project linking 12 European cities (you’ll hear more about this later). One of those cities is Kharkiv, Ukraine. Project members received the following email Weds. and I am spreading the word.

From: Олена Мурадян

Date: 2 March 2022 at 07.25.31 CET

Subject: [fusilli] Warm greetings from Kharkiv team, Ukraine

 To: Fostering Urban food System transformation through Innovative Living Labs Implementation

Dear colleagues,

on behalf of all Kharkiv team of FUSILLI project I would like to say thank you one more time for your emails, supportive words and worries. We appreciate your every word. It means a lot for us. Also we value a lot every social action, every activity, every supportive demonstration connected to situation in Ukraine in your countries. 

For this moment we are alive (one hour ago we had the worst and scariest air attacks), we are more or less safe, we are in different parts of this city and country, but with every breath we have hope for the end of this nightmare asap.

Our lives are mostly in bomb shelters, cellars of the houses or bathrooms with a load-bearing walls (that actually are strongest part of our early 90-s buildings))) 

I would like to share our small news: we continue to work with our partners and organizing a food delivery for students who stayed in dormitories and who are not able to be evacuated. Also every day we have contact with some part of the students who are local but who are not able to find an open grocery shop in the part of the city or under the bombing regularly. We have volunteers who deliver our grocery shopping by their cars. We have brave taxi drivers who continue to work under the air strikes. 

Using participant observation we observe and zone the city depending on food availability. Only humanitarian deliveries can reach some parts of the city. 

Hospitals, nursing homes, orphanages, schools, and many residential buildings were damaged in the city. This morning they bombed the central part of the city. The regional administration, the largest square in Europe, many architectural monuments suffered…And our Alma mater – University – was damaged. First time today I had tears on my eyes…

As you can see from news, we do not give up, we rely on the strength of our army and international support; we save water, food and our emotional resources in order to rebuild our city soon. And rebuild our lives.

Many of you have asked me how can they help us. First days I answered that we are ok and we can hear it ourselves. Now I see that situation is worse and worse. 

So we are relying on the power of the internet. Please help spread this information. Nearby us here in Kharkiv is a baby orphanage called Zelenii Hai—there are many newborns there who are running out of food and medications. 

Also few hundred of our students are living in basement dormitories, bomb shelters. Delivery routes to the city are blocked. We are trying to purchase medicine, food, diapers in Kharkiv, but local shops and pharmacies are either closed or have empty shelves. All around us we hear shooting and air raid signals. Who could ever have thought that it would be like this, so hard to buy medicine, food, water and even harder to get deliveries. All the time between bombings we are searching where to buy medicine or food in our city, also taxi expenses to deliver food to some of the city are so high. 

Time to time we are paying expenses for students who decided to leave the city – we provide transfer, tickets and basic needs for few days. 

So we decided to be agree for your help. 

If you can send money to help these children and students ,

[please contact me (@brookskaiser on Twitter or via this blog) or Danielle (@daniellewilde on Twitter) for bank details. The funds will be sent to a member of our FUSILLI project in Ukraine.]

This is reliable information, and we have reliable bank info for transfers. 

Take good care of you.

May peace come faster to Ukraine. And May peace never leave your homelands.

Sincerely to all Fusilli family.

Olena Muradyan,

Dean of the School of Sociology,

V.N.Karazin Kharkiv National University,


Cover Photo credit: “U.S. Ambassador Marie L. Yovanovitch travels to Kharkiv, Kharkiv Karazin national University, September 22, 2016” by usembassykyiv is marked with CC PDM 1.0.