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Good morning this is Paula. In the last year, the war in Ukraine and its ripple effects on other regions of the globe have largely taken centre stage. Today, on the one year anniversary since the start of the Russian invasion, we look back at the role that Geneva-based organisations have been playing, often behind the scenes, to provide aid and a space for dialogue.

We also look back at some of our coverage of the crisis. We heard from an ICRC evacuation chief about the fall of Mariupol and got a sobering outlook on the prospects of peace from a Russian Nobel peace prize winner.

In the first months of the war, we also launched Ukraine Stories, a project to support journalists in Ukraine and Russia who courageously report on the war from the ground. Here’s a selection of the stories they told, from the financial cost of war, to the testimonies of captured soldiers, to the LGBTQI+ Ukrainians defending their country.

photo journaliste

Paula Dupraz-Dobias


How international Geneva stepped up for Ukraine

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An anti-war protest, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, in front of the United Nations office in Geneva, 26 February, 2022. (Keystone/Reuters/Pierre Albouy)

One year of war: how international Geneva stepped up for Ukraine. A year since Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine, UN and other humanitarian organisations have made their presence felt in the war-torn country and beyond. Just days after the invasion, western diplomats at the UN Human Rights Council set the stage by walking out during a video speech by Moscow’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, before repeating the exercise at the Conference on Disarmament. But Geneva-based organisations have also played an important role in providing critical aid in the country as well as in supporting major agreements between the warring parties, that offer some hope for the future.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

🇺🇦Must reads from Ukraine Stories

Cartooning against the war

Photo article

By Yuriy Zhuravel

Against missiles that have plummeted Ukrainian cities, three Ukrainian cartoonists armed themselves last year with pencils, using laughter and ridicule to denounce Russia’s invasion.

Myroslava Opanasyk

What we’ve been covering

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obel Prize-winning journalist Dmitry Muratov, at Le Temps and Geneva Solutions’ offices in Geneva, 2 May 2022. (Davide Wagnières/Le Temps)

Dmitry Muratov: 'Russia had a future, many think it has no more'. The editor-in-chief of the Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta and Nobel peace prize winner came to Geneva last May. In an exclusive interview with Le Temps, he voiced his concerns about a war for which he did not see the end.

‘When I close my eyes, I see Azovstal’: ICRC chief of evacuation. Returning to Geneva from Ukraine last June, Gregory Brissonneau spoke about the ICRC’s five-day operation to rescue 101 civilians from the Azovstal steel plant in the fallen city of Mariupol.

Former diplomat: Russia hoped Switzerland would ‘help circumvent sanctions’. In May, Boris Bondarev became the first Russian diplomat to resign over his country’s invasion of Ukraine. The former counsellor to the UN in Geneva and disarmament expert tells of Moscow’s disappointment with Switzerland.

Ukraine-Russia negotiations: ‘It’s important to explore the various options’. Amid Russia’s ongoing invasion, the Geneva-based Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue last year brokered an agreement for the free passage of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea. Its director sheds light on the talks.

Swiss solidarity: is aid reaching Ukraine fast enough? Since March 2022, the Swiss population has been reaching into their pockets to support the delivery of humanitarian aid for Ukraine. As Ukraine approaches one year since the start of Russia’s invasion, how much humanitarian aid has it received from Swiss people?

Seeking justice for survivors of sexual violence in Ukraine. Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February this year, reports have emerged of women, men and children being subjected to sexual violence by Russian soldiers. A Geneva-based initiative is working with the Ukrainian government to set up an urgent interim reparations programme to help survivors of sexual violence during the war.

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