Like many of us around the world, we continue to be shocked and saddened by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
War serves no one, least of all the innocent victims and citizens that have been cruelly targeted by these attacks. As peace talks drag on, the world's eyes are on those who have lost homes, family members, and in the worst cases, their lives.
Here at NearU, our focus is especially on our Ukrainian host partners in Kyiv, Odesa, and Dnipro. We are proud to work with Creative States and COSPO. They're both experts when it comes to providing top quality workspaces at the cutting edge of interior design trends. Before the war, they would regularly host events, coworker meet-ups and community activities. Now things are much different.
Statement from Creative States
"The 21st day since our life changed radically in an instant," read a recent Instagram post from Creative States, which operates offices out of Kyiv and Dnipro. "Many have temporarily left their homes in search of shelter and security, and many continue to defend them until the moment of truth and victory. And despite the fact that now no one can feel 100% safe - our people and country are united and determined as never before."
Currently, all of their locations are closed, as the statement continues: "Today, all Creative States locations remain under 24-hour security. Together we look forward to returning to our weekdays with the smell of coffee, small talk in the lounges and happy hours every Friday. In the meantime, let's stick together and resolutely go for victory." (Note: this statement was roughly translated from Ukrainian via Google Translate).
They also recently released an open letter to the coworking and property industry which you can read here.
Supporting Ukraine & our hosts
We have since reached out to both and managed to get word back from CEO of Creative States, Ilia Kenighstein - 'we're all OK now,' he said. They're even investigating new markets in Europe to launch into!
Along with their community, Creative States were involved in setting up the Humanitarian Aid Fund, coordinated by the Disasters Emergency Committee. They are appealing for donations of any size, with just £50 being enough to provide blankets for four families.
Unfortunately, the team at COSPO are experiencing more hardship. We spoke to Vladymyr Gubanov, co-owner of the space, about his situation: "We are not working now. Myself and my family were forced to flee to Poland." Vladymyr and his family are currently looking for work and permanent housing elsewhere in Europe. He urged anyone reading to register interest in hosting a Ukrainian refugee in their home. You can find out more about the scheme here.
As a small business, we wish there was more we could do in terms of monetary donations. But we hope the donations from our internal team members (and anyone who has been prompted to give by reading this article) will do at least a small amount of good.
Now there's nothing left to say except, #WeStandWithUkraine.