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The head of the White Helmets and others examine humanitarian responses to Russian incursions.

Heavily populated urban centres have been put at the heart of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Surrounded and besieged, bombardments from the ground and the air have left Ukraine’s people and its cities in a perilous position. Sadly, the world has seen such situations before.

For more than ten years, the White Helmets have provided a humanitarian lifeline to people under attack on the ground and from the air in Syria. Support has been provided and vital aid supplied for large groups of stranded citizens. When bombardments hit, emergency workers and volunteers have bravely contended with incoming fire to save others.

Joined by the head of the White Helmets, this event discusses the conflict-induced humanitarian disaster in Syria and how the organization has supported the local population, with timely lessons and insight on dealing with a common Russian adversary.

The panel discusses:

  • How do volunteer groups best organise rapidly to support communities in conflict zones?
  • What are the key lessons that the White Helmets can provide to Ukraine volunteers on the ground today?
  • Are there similar strategies employed by Russian forces in Syria or does the Ukraine invasion represent a shift?
  • Beyond emergency relief, how can volunteer humanitarian organizations provide for the local community in areas such as rehousing, education, and healthcare?

As with all Chatham House member events, questions from members drive the conversation. This event is part of Chatham House’s ongoing work on the future of conflict. 

Event chaired by Dr Abdulkarim Ekzayez.

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