24 February 2023 marks one year since the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. In the past twelve months thousands of innocent people have lost their homes, and for many, their lives too.
Russia has consistently underestimated Ukraine, initially having planned to seize Ukraine in just three days, yet 365 days later Ukraine are continuing to liberate territory and push back Russian forces.
On the anniversary of the start of the invasions the UK's foreign secretary announced further sanctions on Russia.
The new sanctions imposed by the UK include banning the export of every item Ukraine has found Russia to be utilising in the invasion which includes, but is not limited to, aircraft parts and radio equipment.
In a Government statement Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said: "Ukrainians are turning the tide on Russia, but they cannot do it alone. That is why we must do more to help Ukraine win. Today we are sanctioning the elites who run Putin’s key industries and committing to prohibit the export to Russia of every item Russia has been found using on the battlefield. "
Further sanctions have also been applied to some of Russia's wealthiest and most influential figures and organisations including four banks, 34 executives at two of Russia's largest defence companies and a state-owned nuclear power company.
In March 2022, PARN launched an Ask The Network Survey to the Sector to review the sectors response, and the ramifications of the invasion. In the first instance PARN asked respondents if organisations had, or we're planning to undertake any activities to support the Ukraine, and overwhelming majority of 93% responded yes.
There was a large interest amongst the sector for professional bodies to connect with their counterparts in Ukraine, which some did successfully. There was a lesser response to the governments "homes for Ukraine" scheme, while it should be added, there was little resources for organisational involvement with the scheme so many opted to share the information with their teams, without pressure, for those that wished to participate and implement support mechanisms for employees that chose to do so.
One of the more popular support choices actioned by professional bodies was to participate in fundraising campaigns amongst its members. One launched a collective appeal on behalf of an international organisation and various charities, such as UNICEF, Save the Children. This will become a recurrent theme throughout the research.
Other professional associations adapted existing refugee policies, or implements new processes which enabled support to Ukrainians relocated in the UK through a fast-tracking system or offering complimentary membership.
In October 2022 PARN welcomed 22 registrants from across the sector to discuss the sectors response and on-going support of Ukraine. PARN we're joined by Sara Crofts, CEO, Institute of Conservation (Icon) who discussed Icon’s Initial Response, Member Led “Basecamps” and Shaun Taylor, Member of the Institute of Interim Management who told us how his company, TechLink Ukraine, supported displaced residents.
Read the full event summary here
The professional body sector continues to stand with Ukraine.