Over the weekend, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds pledged to match up to $1 million in aid to displaced Ukrainians. The actors urged their followers to donate to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and vowed to match those donations.
As of Sunday, approximately 368,000 Ukrainian refugees arrived in neighboring countries and are in need of safety, according to UNHCR. Ukrainians have crowded onto trains and waited in their vehicles in long lines for hours to leave the country after Russia invaded neighboring Ukraine on Thursday.
“In 48 hours, countless Ukrainians were forced to flee their homes to neighboring countries. They need protection. When you donate, we’ll match it up to $1,000,000, creating double the support,” both Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds said in a retweet of the USA for UNHCR account.
According to CNN, the European Union Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, says the EU should prepare for millions of displaced Ukrainians to arrive.
"It's very difficult to guess how many, but I think we should be prepared for millions," Johansson said.
Because of "years of violence," the UN agency estimates that more than two million Ukrainians fled the country prior to Russian troops invading last week.
"Those fleeing for their lives need immediate shelter, protection and safety," USA for UNHCR said.
Many fellow celebrities were inspired to donate thanks to Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' posts. Many Ukrainians also commented on Lively's Instagram post and thanked her for using her platform and her privilege to bring attention to such a worthy, timely, and necessary cause.
On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin continued to escalate the Ukraine crisis by ordering his defense minister and top military commander to place Russia's nuclear forces on alert—threatening the West as many countries continue to show support for Ukraine, its citizens, and its military against the Russian invasion.