It's been over two weeks into the Russian Invasion of Ukraine, which has turned into a slow but bloody advance with two million (as of now) women and children fleeing the country as refugees. There has been plenty of reaction to it from around the world, as well as within Second Life. Earlier, the Newser reported on a demonstration, as well as flagmakers giving away Ukrainian flags. The latter has certainly encouraged the country's blue and gold banner being seen across various places inworld. Linden Lab itself has also stepped in, saying Second Life residents from the Ukraine would get a break from paying tier and premium accounts for at least 30 days (which will likely be extended unless the war ends soon).
They also encouraged people to donate off Second Life, pointing out the UNICEF USA and Red Cross websites.
166,55,23). There was one noteworthy discussion in Home and Garden chat that I overheard. Some wondered if there should be an official statement of support. Others weren't so sure, wanting to keep international conflicts and politics out and concentrate on fighting cancer. But there was a general agreement that individuals could show support in small ways. I've seen various people wearing blue and gold shirts and other clothes and items, such as ribbons and cloth. One of the shops at "The Guild" shopping event is also Ukrainian owned.
Hana, the owner of Osmia, lives in one of the cities that came under attack, then occupation by Russian forces. She had gone from posting pictures of Second Life fashion on her Flickr to pictures and video of her hometown under attack and of the shelter she's taken refuge in to keep from getting killed from shelling and bombs, "The contrast is surreal and wrenching." To complicate matters, she's also six months pregnant.
She would tell Hamlet Au, "Honestly, I don't know what to write to you. Children, families die, people disappear (they are found shot in their cars)... my city is surrounded. Now I don't know what this will lead to." Later, she would write, "my city is occupied. There are a lot of soldiers and equipment on the streets. We don’t go out because they can kill." Her access to Second Life has been cut off, and her Internet connection is sporadic." With her access to Linden dollars cut off, she suggested another way to help would be to donate to the National Bank of Ukraine to help fund it's armed forces.
Stay tuned for further updates.
Sources: Wikipedia, Associated Press, New World Notes