Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively are stepping up to help Ukrainian refugees forced to leave their homes as Russia invades
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds are major #CoupleGoals for countless reasons, from their silly online banter and teasing to their more genuine and giving moments. On Saturday, February 26, the couple pledged to assist refugees fleeing for their lives in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by matching up to $1 million in donations to USA for the UN Refugee Agency (USA for UNCHR), a nonprofit focused on rebuilding the lives of refugees.
“[Ryan] and I are doubling every dollar donated to @usaforunhcr up to $1,000,000,” Lively captioned a post on Instagram. “@usaforunhcr is on the ground helping the 50,000+ Ukrainians who had to flee their homes in less than 48 hours. @usaforunhcr is providing life saving aid, and also working with neighboring countries to ensure protection for these families.”
Reynolds posted the same image from UNHCR showing a child reaching out to the safety of an adult’s welcoming arms, saying, “In 48 hours, countless Ukrainians were forced to flee their homes to neighboring countries. They need protection. @usaforunhcr is providing it. When you donate, we’ll match it up to $1,000,000, creating DOUBLE the support.”
Friends and fans alike applauded the move and made donations for the couple to match. “Love this support. We are donating now. Send our love to these good people ❤️💔🇺🇦,” said one user. “Thanks ❤️. We will never forget. Pray for us 🙌,” added another user who seems to be in the warring region.
Reynolds’ and Lively’s donation pledges comes days after Russia invaded Ukraine
On February 24, 2022, the world watched in terror as Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a televised declaration of war. Russian troops started invading two separatist regions of Ukraine. Explosions and airstrikes have been reported in densely populated civilian territory, like the capital of Kyiv, a city of 2.8 million people.
Countries across the globe, including the U.S. are attempting to get Putin to pull out with sanctions and other penalties with negative financial consequences for Russia. President Biden joined the European Union in sanctioning Putin personally.
“Putin’s aggression against Ukraine will end up costing Russia dearly, economically and strategically,” Biden said. “We will make sure of that.”
Still, sanctioning Putin is a largely symbolic gesture in the midst of a crisis with very real material consequences, especially given that Putin reportedly has money hoarded away in accounts sanctions can’t touch. President Biden and the rest of the West’s pleads with Putin have gone unheard as airstrikes have continued.