Evacuation and organization of shelters

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians were forced to leave their homes and move to safer territories or abroad. Here is an instruction about evacuation, quick and safe movement, and the organization of living in shelters.

Who organizes evacuation?

Civil-military administrations

Workers of Red Cross Administrations


State Emergency Service of Ukraine

Local government

Militarily personnel inform about safe evacuation routes and provide a ceasefire if that is possible.

How does the evacuation work?

The ceasefire is announced on the whole route of the transport.

The column of buses with villagers and citizens is formed at the previously informed location.

Private cars can join the evacuation column, but they have to strictly follow the route.

Evacuated people will get help, housing, and food at the destination place.

How to get information about the start of evacuation?

You should follow official information on the radio, mass media or listen to the announcement from mobile air raid sirens. If you are in the bomb shelter, listen to the siren “Uvaga vsim!”(Attention!). After that check the information from available official sources, for example, radio.

What should I do if I don`t have access to information about the start of the evacuation, cannot hear the siren, or cannot move independently?

Try to call the hotline of Territorial defense of Armed Forces of Ukraine 0 800 507 028 or emergency services 101, 102 and inform them about your location. Then the local government will add your address to the list of people who need help with the evacuation.

How should I act if I`m an internationally displaced person (IDP)?

Follow the rules of evacuation stated above. If you are evacuating by yourself, find the conditions and routes for it. Do not break established rules and conditions.
Collect the necessities, including documents, money, medications, food, and clothes. You can find more information in our guide. There is a possibility that part of the way you have to go on foot, so consider that while packing. Plan breaks and stops for the night, find all the necessary contacts and inform about your arrival.
Join forces. Find out who else can join you. Coordinate your forces, combine and optimize resources: fuel, food, medication.
Move carefully. There can be dangerous regions on your way. Do not try to rush through them, it`s better to wait until the situation there will be stable.
Inform the local government and volunteering centers about your arrival. Give some information about the number of people, their age, health conditions and urgent needs.
Ask, but do not demand. Local communities do what they can to organize shelters and provide IDPs with the necessities, but their resources are limited.
Avoid conflicts. Do not discuss political views and military situations. Aggression and vandalism are not acts of patriotism. Be friendly and polite.
Keep calm. It is extremely important to be in a stable mental state during critical situations. Help those, who are exhausted, anxious or panicked. You can follow these simple rules. Carefully choose sources of truthful information.
Help others. You can share recourses with other IDPs, be responsible for organizing your daily life and free time or help the local community.
Plan ahead as much as possible. If you plan to stay at the shelter, organize your daily life in a long-term perspective. If you plan to move ahead, organize your route and everything that you need for further movement.

Rules for admission to the first grade for internally displaced persons and Ukrainians who are now abroad

Due to Russian aggression in Ukraine, some Ukrainians are forced to leave their homes and settle in other cities and countries. But despite the difficult conditions, the educational process continues. On September 1, a new generation of first-graders will go to school. The Ministry of Education recommends that parents or persons in loco parentis submit the necessary documents to register their children for first grade.

  1. How do internally displaced persons apply for admission to the first grade?
  • Choose an educational institution. If the documents for admission to the 1st grade are submitted by internally displaced persons who are not yet registered (for various reasons), the Ministry of Education recommends that they first contact the local administration or education department.
  • Submit to the educational institution an application for admission of a child (in person or by email, fax or other convenient way), as well as:
  • a copy of the child’s birth certificate or an identity document (when submitting a copy, the original of the relevant document must be presented)
  • original or copy of a medical certificate in the form of primary accounting documentation No. 086-1/о. “Certificate of a pupil of a general education institution on the results of a mandatory medical preventive examination” (if the parents or persons in loco parentis are abroad, the medical certificate may be submitted after returning to Ukraine).

Children are usually accepted to an educational institution, including the 1st grade, before the start of the school year and in accordance with the territory of service.

Please note! Due to the introduction of martial law and in accordance with the Procedure for enrollment, exclusion and transfer of students to state and municipal educational institutions for complete general secondary education, when accepting documents for enrollment in the 1st grade, it should be taken into account that children or one of their parents who have a certificate of registration of an internally displaced person, a certificate of application for protection in Ukraine, a refugee certificate, a certificate of a person in need of additional protection or who has been granted temporary protection, and who do not have one or more of the following documents are enrolled in an educational institution without submitting the above documents.

In the absence of a child’s birth certificate, the head of the educational institution is obliged to immediately inform the child welfare authority at the child’s place of residence or the location of the educational institution to facilitate its issuance.

  1. How to apply for admission to the first grade from abroad?

The application can be submitted by email, fax or other convenient way.

  1. To which schools abroad can children be sent to study under the Ukrainian program?

If parents and their children plan to stay abroad for a certain period of time, children can also study at the State Lyceum “Ukrainian International School” (UIS) (https://uis.org.ua).

  1. Is it possible to combine studying abroad and distance learning at a Ukrainian school? 

Ukrainian children can study at an educational institution in the country of residence on a full-time basis.

Ukrainian children may, if they wish, combine full-time study at a school in the country of residence and at a general secondary education institution of Ukraine in one of the following forms of education: distance, family (home), externship.

A child who, while outside Ukraine, continued his or her studies at a Ukrainian school, continues his or her studies at the same educational institution after returning to Ukraine.

  1. Does the child need to confirm the knowledge gained after returning to Ukraine? 

The educational results obtained by children in educational institutions of the countries of temporary residence, where they studied under Ukrainian programs, don’t require separate recognition. After returning to Ukraine, these children are enrolled in educational institutions and transferred to the next year of study in accordance with the established procedure based on the results of the assessment conducted by the educational institution of the country of temporary residence, on condition that they provide an information certificate confirming their studies.

The results of education obtained by children in educational institutions of the countries of temporary residence may be taken into account by a Ukrainian educational institution on the basis of an information certificate confirming education in the country of residence. Children who, while abroad, have not studied the subjects required by Ukrainian educational programs, are given the opportunity to take an annual assessment in these subjects before the start of the school year.

Rules for admission to institutions of higher education for children from the temporarily occupied territories

Currently, some graduates who are now/have been in the temporarily occupied territories or in the areas of active hostilities are unable to get all the necessary documents about graduation from an educational institution. The state has developed a mechanism for enrolling in a higher education institution in such a situation:

  • What should be done if an applicant from the temporarily occupied territories does not have a state-issued certificate of complete secondary education?

It is necessary to pass the state final certification as an external student in authorized secondary education institutions.

  • How to choose a secondary education institution where you can pass the final certification?
    • Submit an application for admission through the educational centers “Crimea-Ukraine” and “Donbas-Ukraine” (these centers are established on the basis of higher or professional pre-university education institutions where you plan to enroll).
      Contacts of the educational centers are here: bit.ly/3rqZ1iZ
    • The chosen institution will refer you to the attached school. You can take the final certification the next day after submitting your application or at another time convenient for you.

Important! You can take the final certification from the beginning of the educational centers’ work – from June 1, but no later than 3 days before the end of their work – on September 30.

  • What subjects should you pass the state final examination in?
    • Ukrainian language (without literature)
    • History of Ukraine
  • What should I do if I can’t take the assessment in person?

In this case, the assessment can be taken remotely in the format of an individual interview with video fixation.

  • What are the next steps after passing the annual evaluation and final certification?

It is necessary to submit the following documents for admission to the educational center by yourself:

    • application;
    • certificate of external independent evaluation 2020-2021 or results of the national multi-subject test (optional);
    • certificate of registration of an internally displaced person (if present);
    • an identity document, and in case of its absence – a birth certificate.
    • four 3×4 cm color photographs;
    • a state-issued document on education and its supplement;
    • a certificate of successful completion of the state final certification (except in cases of exemption from it) is the basis for participation in the competition without submitting certificates of external independent evaluation or national multi-subject test.
  • What should I do if I can’t physically submit my application documents?

You should send to the educational center’s e-mail:

    • scanned copies (photocopies) of the documents listed in the previous section
    • a 3×4 cm photo (1 in digital form)

Important! The educational center receives a certificate of successful completion of the annual evaluation and state final certification (except in cases of exemption from it) automatically. You don’t need to send it additionally.

  • What are the deadlines for submitting applications?

Documents from an applicant for admission to higher education institutions at the expense of the state budget are accepted in two stages:

    • the main stage of admission to the budget lasts from July 19 – July 31 (18:00)
    • additional stage of contractual enrollment (with the possibility of transferring to vacant budget places if available):
    • Acceptance of applications – until September 23 (7 days before the end of the work of educational centers);
    • conducting entrance exams – until September 25 (no later than 5 days before the end of the work of the educational centers);
    • publication of the rating list – by September 27 (no later than 3 days before the end of the work of the educational centers);
    • enrollment – by September 30 (no later than the date of closure of the educational centers).

Applicants can submit up to 5 applications through one educational center only.

How can we help IDPs during the war?

It is extremely important to set up logistics chains and shelters, that would help to place people, provide them with the necessities, get them to the border in the most efficient way.

Big cities and cities of regional significance are not the only ones where IDPs can live. Many IDPs can live in small communities near main highways and those located a little bit farther as well. Here is some information on what communities can do now to be able to provide shelters for IDPs.

Who needs help?

People who escaped the combat zone and are moving to the western border. Quite often they spend two days in the car, without sleep and food. Even a few hours of sleep in bed can extremely helpful for them. They also need help on the way to checkpoints on the western borders of Ukraine.

IDPs seeking shelter in the regions, where there is no fighting. They plan to stay from a few weeks to a few months. They are often ready to pay for the apartment.

Volunteers who transfer ammunition, medication, and food. Many of them are traveling from northern and central regions to the western border and then back. They spent tens of hours on the road, therefore, need a place to rest for a bit.

How to treat IDPs?

It is important to remember that the settlers did not leave their homes because of the good life. Someone could not stay at home with the children, where several times a night they had to go down to the bomb shelters and hear the sounds of explosions. Someone left their house under fire and discovers on the way that there was nowhere to come back – the occupiers bombed the house. And someone miraculously escaped from a city that Russian aircraft are trying to level.

Talk to them. People are in a state of shock and stress. That is why it is important to support, listen and reassure them. Communication is extremely necessary; it helps to solve all misunderstandings.
Explain to them the rules of staying in the shelter; tell them about the opportunities and limitations that exist. This will help to better organize daily life. In addition, a clear order will avoid unnecessary conflicts and misunderstandings.
Help them with food. Do not assume prematurely about their pickiness about food – you may not know if they are vegetarians, lactose intolerant, or have food allergies. Leave the condemnation for peacetime.
Organize their daily life and supplies. People who find themselves in a new place need to understand who and how to turn to in case of urgent needs. For example, not every community may have a pharmacy with the necessary medications – they will need to be ordered or brought from another city.
Find them something to do, because work helps to distract. Adult IDPs can do simple work and help organize the daily life of shelters as well as work for the community. Organize leisure time for children and teenagers (books, toys, studying) – it`s crucial to create a sense of comfort and safety during the critical time.
Help them with planning. Some of the IDPs will want to stay in the community for a few weeks; some will plan to cross the border. Help them organize a route and find transport to continue their journey.

How to offer your help?

If you want to volunteer, offer your services, belongings, transport, and other assistance, contact the local volunteer coordination centers or the Ukrainian Volunteer Service.

If you are ready to host a family seeking protection, you can apply on the specialized site “Prykhystok”.(Shelter)