Lorraine Kelly shares devastation over Ukraine crisis

She's been speaking to refugees fleeing the country

Like many of us, Lorraine Kelly has watched the devastating crisis unfold in Ukraine. The presenter has been interviewing refugees and heard stories of bravery and sadness. She reflects on the situation in her latest HELLO! diary below...

I know I'm not alone in wanting to help the people of Ukraine, especially those who have had to flee their homes with nothing but their passports and the clothes on their backs.

Our royal family, including Prince Charles and Camilla, Prince William and Kate, as well as Harry and Meghan in California, have given their support in admirably strong terms. Hollywood stars have also stepped up, with Ryan Reynolds and his wife Blake Lively donating a million dollars to help Ukrainian refugees.

DONATE NOW: What can you do to help Ukraine?

This week I have listened to harrowing stories from mums and dads, just like you and me, whose Iives have been completely shattered by the invasion of their country.

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WATCH: Lorraine Kelly shares devastation over Ukraine crisis

One British teacher Paul Hodgson living in Kiev with his girlfriend Nadya and her young son, recounted to me how he managed to help his colleagues get out of the city and across the border into Poland, and then went back to collect other family members. He hadn't slept, had hardly eaten and was visibly shaken by the speed and ferocity of the invasion.

READ: 5 ways to cope with news induced anxiety right now

PARENTING ADVICE: How to talk to your children about the Ukraine/Russia conflict

A Ukrainian woman told me how she had managed to escape with her husband and young son and daughter, and broke down in tears clearly shattered and traumatised.

Every refugee has their own nightmare to relate. Long exhausting journeys, fears for those left behind and worries about the future for their children. Newborn babies have taken their first breath in underground shelters and children in hospital are in danger of being bombed.

Lorraine has been interviewing people affected by the war

There have also been stories of unimaginable courage. People standing in front of Russian tanks and showing kindness to Russian prisoners, some of them just raw teenage boys, giving them tea and allowing them to call their mothers.

President Volodymyr Zelensky, a former comedian and entertainer who won the Ukrainian version of Strictly and voiced Paddington Bear in the Ukrainian version of the movie, has shown incredible bravery and become a symbol of defiance for his people. The anti-war protesters in Russia also show great courage and strength.

We are watching from a distance while Ukrainian cities are bombed and it makes us all feel helpless, and reduced to mere spectators.

But we can help in really practical ways. Obviously, we can donate to the various charities who are helping Ukrainian refugees so they can have food, water and medical supplies. We can donate warm coats, hats, scarves and boots, but volunteers have stressed they only need good quality clothes and toys for children.

And we can show our support online and by keeping them all in our thoughts.

If you want to help the people of Ukraine amid the escalating Russian conflict, these are the charities in urgent need of donations: British Red Cross, International Medical Corps, UNICEF and CARE.

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