The Russo-Ukrainian war continues to be a concerning and depressing topic, both for those experiencing it firsthand, and those watching from the sidelines. At the point of writing this article, 4.6M people have fled their home country, seeking peace, salvation, and a new beginning.

But where there is evil, there is unity and goodness. As spring started to bloom, the warm sun shining brightly upon the earth, Ukrainian refugees decided to bond together and thank the countries that have welcomed them by cleaning them up.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments below but for now, let’s get into the story!

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Ukrainians continue to garner praise and respect and now it’s because of their kind acts of cleaning up the countries they are taking refuge in

Image credits: irishrugby2015

Ukrainian refugees have taken matters into their own hands and have cleaned up the countries that have taken them in and provided them homes, necessities and jobs after they’d fled their war-ridden country.

Cities like Prague, Czech Republic, Antalya, Turkey, and multiple cities in Romania and Poland have been beautified by the kind and voluntary acts of service from the Ukrainians.

The kind acts were a gesture of gratitude to all those that helped and supported them during a time of great need and struggle.

Multiple initiatives have been taking place in Poland, Czech Republic, Romania and Turkey

Image credits: Jan Čižinský


The Ukrainians in Prague met up at 10am on April 9th to clean the streets of Prague 7 and Prague 10, two of Prague’s districts.

Before organizing the event, the refugees contacted the mayor of Prague 7, Jan Čižinský, to share their plans. Touched by their kind gesture, Čižinský first explained that there was no need for them to hold such an event: “I explained in vain to our new Ukrainian neighbors that we are grateful that their men, women, brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers are fighting for us and our freedom right now in Ukraine. But they did not relent,” he wrote in a post on Facebook.

So in turn Prague 7 supported the organizers of the event, providing cleaning equipment, garbage bags, and then ensuring waste collection at the end of the event. Ukrainian refugees weren’t the only ones participating in the cleaning, as the mayor, several Czech citizens, and multiple Russians who support Ukraine joined in.

The kind acts were a gesture of gratitude to the warm welcome the Ukrainians have received from their neighbors

Image credits: Renata Chmelová

Marija, the organizer of the event, stated that they organized the cleaning “as a token of gratitude for all our people who have received a wonderful reception and great help. We want to do at least something in return.”

Prime Minister Petr Fiala said that there were around 300,000 Ukrainian refugees in the Czech Republic, many of them women and children. More than 275,000 of them have received a special visa, according to data released by the Interior Ministry, allowing them to spend a year in the country and giving them access to employment and health insurance, among other benefits.


Out of the 4.6 million people who have left Ukraine since the beginning of the war, 320,000 found refuge in Slovakia, 420,000 in Hungary, 700,000 in Romania, and over 2.6 million in Poland alone and people could not be more grateful.

“You helped us; we want to do something for you,” said one volunteer, many others agreeing with the notion

Image credits: POGODNE SUWAŁKI

Similar initiatives have taken place in Polish towns and cities, such as Suwałki, Wrocław, Poznań, Kraków, Gdańsk, Katowice, Łódź, Szczecin, Białystok, Lublin and Rzeszów, with people cleaning up streets, parks, forests, and various other public spaces. “We know that such cleaning once a week is probably not much,” Lena Bodarenko told a local newspaper. “But we want to say thank you. We have been very well received.”

Notes from Poland included more accounts from those involved in the cleanings. “You helped us; we want to do something for you,” said Nicola, a Ukrainian who’d been living in Poland for several years. Although not a recent refugee, he wanted to show his gratitude for the warm welcome the Polish gave his fellow Ukrainians. “We want in this way to thank Poles for helping our compatriots fleeing the war,” said another participant.


Image credits: POGODNE SUWAŁKI

From beaches, to parks, to city streets, Ukrainians have done their best and it seems like it’s just the beginning

Image credits: Dobrogea Live

Initiatives by refugees in Antalya, Turkey, have also made headlines, one of the organizers, Kate Semerich, saying: “We’re doing this to thank Turkey for the hospitality and to remind Ukrainians they are only guests.” Another group of Ukrainians cleaned up the beach in Mamaia Nord, Romania. It seems the good deeds won’t stop anytime soon.

The tradition of ‘subotnik’ – devoting free time to the betterment of the community – is still very much prevalent in Ukraine

Image credits: Renata Chmelová

A tradition known as subotnik – coming from the word ‘Saturday’ or ‘subota’ – began after the October Revolution in the Soviet Union and were days of volunteer unpaid work on weekends.

Subotniks were mostly organized for ridding the streets of garbage, fixing public amenities, collecting recyclable material, and other community services. After the fall of communism, the term disappeared in Poland and other post-soviet countries, but it continued in Ukraine.

However, “it no longer has a propaganda overtone” as it did in Soviet times, Oleksandr Shevchenko told Gazeta Wyborcza, continuing to say that it’s a means of bringing the family and neighborhood together to “devote their free time to the local community” and to have a conversation or picnic afterwards. It seems the tradition continues and, perhaps, it’ll be one that sticks.


It seems the tradition will be following them regardless of where they go and we really hope it becomes something everyone partakes in


Image credits: Let’s do it, Ukraine

Ukraine is also one of the countries where the initiative “Let’s Do It World” was incredibly successful. The movement encourages care for the environment by uniting volunteers, local businesses, and governments in a cause to clean up trash and maintain the cleanliness of the planet.

Let’s Do It Ukraine” proudly stated that in 2017 they brought together more than 1,100,000 participants in 4,760 locations across the country. Schoolchildren, students, officials, artists, activists, responsible citizens, and media representatives cleared more than 2,138 locations in 24 regions and 243 settlements. By joint efforts, 763.7 tons of garbage and 182 tons of recyclable materials were collected.

Pollution of the Earth is a major issue, global warming becoming more of a threat to our survival as a whole

Image credits: Renata Chmelová

Of course, this leads to the main issue at hand – pollution and a lack of care for the environment as a whole. It starts with each of us, but of course, more can be done governmentally too: more recycling bins that don’t require a PhD in order to use them, more bans on single-use plastics, mandatory recycling or cleanup events to bring the communities together.


As stated by WWF, we can all do more to be more conscious about what we buy, and where we buy it from: “Buying less will save you money, reduce waste and improve your environmental footprint.”

Thus, joint action might be a good starting point to helping better the planet. But on the other hand, we continue to watch the progression of the war

Image credits: Jan Čižinský

The news on the war continues to be contradictory, one side saying one thing, the other another. However, what we know for sure is that Russian forces have retreated from the northern parts of Ukraine, the latter taking back control. Yet, satellite images have shown Russian forces regrouping and building up numbers in eastern Ukraine, forcing a further retreat of people that stayed behind.

More news came from the Kremlin, stating that Russia claimed 1,026 Ukrainian marines as they surrendered in Mariupol, but, at the point of writing, that has neither been confirmed nor denied by Ukrainian sources. We continue to observe the situation, but it is clear that the facts will shine brightest once the war is over and with the obstacles to forging peace talks, Putin essentially claiming them to have reached a dead end, that may be a long while away.

Day by day, more and more lives are uprooted and with the uncertainty of each day, we continue to hope for it all to end soon

Image credits: Jan Čižinský

The Guardian has reported that Putin’s military operation was going as planned, and that Russia’s aim in Ukraine was to meet all its goals and minimize losses, the ‘special military operation’ to “continue until its full completion and the fulfillment of the tasks that have been set.”

That should be a concerning factor to all those involved or observing the progressing war, making them ask – to what limits is Russia prepared to go to win and how can it be stopped? Those remain open-ended questions for the time being.

What we can rejoice in is the strength and good will of the Ukrainian people and we hope to hear more uplifting tales in the future

Image credits: Visegrád 24

We can be glad that at least some Ukrainians have found safety and that good deeds continue to shine bright in the darkness of the war. We hope that the war will end soon, that these people can reunite with their loved ones, rebuild their homes, and continue their lives in their homeland.

Let us know what you thought of this story and if you’d like to support Ukraine, I will leave a link with resources here. Have a great day and pick up a piece of litter to make the world a better place!

Let us know your thoughts of the story in the comments!