How to behave during shelling

If your home is located in an area of regular armed conflict, you need to strengthen the windows (for example, with adhesive film) – this will help avoid the scattering of broken glass. If possible, close the windows, for example, with sandbags or solid furniture.

Behavior rules in the combat area

In times of crisis, many factors will act against you, including emotions. Therefore, remember that you need to stay organized and focused at a critical moment and don’t react to possible provocations. Your safety will depend on it.

We advise you to listen to the following tips:

  • Always carry your ID with you. Keep money and documents in different places: you will have more chances to keep them.
  • Keep a record of blood type and possible health problems (such as drug allergies, chronic illnesses) in a pocket of your clothes.
  • Try to stay away from home and work as little as possible, reduce the number of trips for no good reason, avoid crowded places.
  • If possible, avoid demonstrating patriotic symbols, which may provoke an aggressor.
  • Remember shelters closest to your home, work, or places you often visit.

What not to do:

  • Don’t share your plans with people with questionable reputations or strangers.
  • Do not argue with strangers to avoid possible provocations.
  • Avoid columns of equipment and do not stand near military vehicles.
  • Do not take photos or videos in the presence of people in military uniform, do not try to record their actions, even if you think they are illegal.
  • Do not watch the course of hostilities; hide as soon as you hear the shots.
  • Do not carry weapons, do not show the military anything that may even resemble a weapon in shape.
  • Do not pick up abandoned weapons or ammunition.
  • Do not touch explosive or just suspicious objects, do not try to disassemble them or move them to another place: even ordinary household items can be mined. Instead, immediately notify the territorial bodies of the SES and the Ministry of Internal Affairs by calling 101 and 102.
  • Do not wear army uniforms, camouflage, or chevron clothing. Choose clothes of dark colors that do not attract attention. Avoid any symbols, as they can cause an unpredictable reaction.

How to record and compensate property losses during wartime

According to KSE calculations, since the beginning of russia’s military aggression in Ukraine, at least 411 educational institutions, 36 health care institutions and at least 1,600 residential buildings have been damaged, destroyed or captured. These numbers continue to grow every day.

After Ukraine’s victory, russia will be obliged to pay reparations to restore damaged infrastructure, as well as lost and destroyed property. We offer you a number of recommendations on how to record losses for further compensation.

1. Provide proofs of your rights to lost or damaged property

Be sure to keep documents on property ownership rights, a technical passport, as well as an extract from the State Register of Property Rights to real estate (you can do this from the register website, as well as from the Diya portal).

If possible, make copies of them, take a picture of them and save them on your phone, or it will be even better to upload them to cloud storage.

2. Record the fact of damage or destruction

In case of fire or wrecking condition:

  • call the employees of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SES) to eliminate the consequences and draw up the appropriate act; don’t forget to get a copy of this act; apply to the relevant district state administration with a request to draw up a report of the inspection of the dwelling or try to draw up a report of destruction yourself;
  • Necessarily take a photo and video recordings of the destruction;
  • try to collect checks for the purchase of movable property (for example, household appliance that was in the apartment), photos of the property before and after the event;
  • Involve neighbors and witnesses of destruction (Fire, shelling, etc.), record their written explanations;
  • If present, keep media articles, photos and videos related to these events.

If you’re in the territory of active hostilities, or if the work of the Emergency Service in your area is complicated, you can independently compile a description of the damage, involving neighbors and witnesses, and record them with the help of photo and video shooting. This will help you get reimbursed later.   

When compiling a description of destruction or damage to real estate on your own, enter the following data:

  • the date of the inventory
  • the city and full address of the property, the number of rooms and the area of the accommodation, the list of people conducting the inventory (name and place of residence), the date and brief description of the event that led to the destruction (shelling, fire, etc.),
  • description of the damage (describe in maximum detail the damage to the buildings structures, decorations, furniture, electrical appliances, communications), signatures and passport data of review participants.

3. Apply with a crime report to the Law Enforcement Agencies. 

Provide all gathered evidence of destruction of property and be sure to obtain an extract from, the Unified Register Of Pretrial Investigations regarding this application. 

4. Upload the collected evidence to the “russia PAY” 

This is a resource that was created by the KSE Institute together with the Office of the President of Ukraine and the Ministry of Economy to collect data on russian crimes for further compensation. Not only the owner of the property, but anyone willing can provide information about the destruction and damage caused as a result of russian aggression.  


In order for your data to be used, it must be reliable and structured: 

  • in a special form, indicate the type and name of the object, the city and region where the object is located, the date of destruction (or causing other damage);
  • upload a photo before and after the destruction, where the object is clearly visible (the file should not exceed 200 megabytes);

  • in the text field briefly describe what exactly happened, for example: “As a result of a missle strike, building No. 28 on Shevchenko Street was completely destroyed. The facade of the house is completely destroyed. It affected the surrounding buildings.” For comparison, what not to do: “We got into house #28. Everything burned down there.”

  • Leave the contacts of the witness of the destruction in the appropriate sections of the form.

The developers of the portal note that they ensure data confidentiality and protection of personal data of witnesses and people who provided information. In addition, you can also submit information via the project’s Telegram bot

Save the collected data. 

Upload a copy of all the collected documents, testimonies, photos and video materials to the cloud storage to avoid their loss. According to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, information on damaged and destroyed property of Ukrainian citizens will be registered in the “Action” application. The state has already created a “fund for the restoration of destroyed property and infrastructure”, which will be used to restore everything destroyed by the enemy. 

The reference uses the materials of Ksenia Semenova, deputy of the Kyiv City Council. 

How to help the Ukrainian army if you are in the war zone?

The best help for a civilian in a combat zone is not to interfere with the military’s professional performance.

Another way to help effectively is to train and become part of the army or territorial defense forces.

Conditions for joining the Armed Forces of Ukraine
Details on joining the Territorial Defense Forces

If you do not plan to join The Armed Forces of Ukraine or territorial defense, consider supporting volunteer organizations that help the army.

Important information for the media, bloggers and all citizens who photograph or write about war and the army

According to the ORDER of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, GENERAL VALERY ZALUZHNY:

What is categorically prohibited to be covered by the mass media during wartime:

  • names of bases and subdivisions, as well as their locations

  • the number of soldiers in bases and units

  • the number of weapons and equipment, their condition and place of storage

  • conditional marks of objects

Any information about:

  •  operations carried out or planned

  • system of protection and defense of military units

  • available military protection such as: weapons and equipment(except visible or obviously expressed)

  • procedure for engaging forces (military) and facilities (weapons)

  • intelligence gathering

  • movement and deployment of troops (names, numbers, routes)

  • military units and their tactics, methods of action

  • unique operations and their execution methods

  • the effectiveness of the enemy’s electronic warfare

  • postponed or canceled operations

  • missing or crashed aircraft, ship and search and rescue operations

  • plans for the security of our troops (disinformation, camouflage, countermeasures)

  • informational and psychological operations carried out or planned

  • propaganda or justification of russia’s large-scale armed aggression against Ukraine.

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