On February 24, Russian forces launched a massive invasion of Ukraine, turning a thriving democracy into a war zone.
Since then, celebrity athletes and reality stars have spoken up for Ukraine, many highlighting their ties to the nation.
Mila Kunis is a beloved American actress, but she was born in Ukraine.
She and husband Ashton Kutcher are using their platform and their voices to raise millions for those fleeing a country under siege.
Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher shared a short video, because they know that your time is valuable.
They posted the fundraising video to YouTube, and we have included it here for your convenience.
Mila reminds everyone that she spent the better part of the first decade of her life in Ukraine.
She and her family came to the United States when she was a child.
They were refugees amidst the fall of communism and the collapse of the USSR.
Though Mila is proud to be an American, she also has a great deal of pride in the land of her birth — and is heartbroken by this war.
Mila is doing more than just using her voice and personal connection to share her feelings.
She and Ashton Kutcher have partnered with Airbnb and with FlexPort.org to offer something more tangible.
They are aiming to provide relief options for refugees fleeing the devastation.
Their goal is to raise $30 million.
The couple has vowed to match up to $3 million raised through a particular GoFundMe account.
“The people of Ukraine are strong and brave but being strong and brave doesn’t mean you’re not worthy of support,” Mila affirmed.
“We need to support the people of Ukraine. Please help us,” Mila implored.
It only took a matter of hours for the fundraiser to bring in $2.5 million.
By Friday afternoon, the donations had nearly reached $9 million and continued to rise, as seen on the GoFundMe page.
As is almost always the case with wars, this horror has also created a refugee crisis.
More than a million Ukrainians fled their country in less than a week.
Some feared being killed or injured by the invading army. Others fear living in a conquered Ukraine under Vladimir Putin’s rule.
Overall, much of the world fears to respond with direct military action, for fear of Russia’s nuclear arsenal.
Without NATO membership or a similar mutual defense agreement with other world powers, Ukraine has had to fight largely on its own.
Anti-tank weapons, donations, and relief supplies have poured in from across the globe, but the U.S. and the E.U. are both reluctant to potentially launch World War III.
The best ending for this would simply be for the sanctions and global condemnation to force those closest to Vladimir Putin to take action and remove him from office.
Unfortunately, that seems to be a fantasy for the moment.
One very real thing that world powers can do is to open their borders to refugees from Ukraine, including those who had to flee without visas or passports.
It is difficult to anticipate that you will need travel documentation when an unprovoked war springs up practically overnight.
It is even harder to fish through the rubble of what was once your home to retrieve identifying documents.
This is why some countries, notably Ireland, have waived standard paperwork requirements to embrace refugees.
More countries should do the same. Ukraine has a population of tens of millions; many more will need to flee before this horror ends.
Meanwhile, what Mila and Ashton are doing here is a worthy cause: helping to provide emergency relief to refugees who do make it to safety.
Escaping a war zone is only part of the journey to safety. Everyone needs shelter, food, and clothing.