Usually at this time of year we publish a letter to mark the anniversary of the web’s invention, reflecting on its role in our world and the tech challenges and opportunities we face. But these are not normal times. Alongside the rest of the world, we have been watching Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with despair as a humanitarian and political crisis unfolds.

This is where our attention is focused just now, and we expect you too are thinking about those facing extreme hardship in Ukraine and the many people across the world affected by conflict. For this reason, we have decided to postpone this year’s birthday letter and instead make a donation to support independent journalism in Ukraine. Reliable, accurate information will be especially critical during this war and it’s vital that rigorous, independent journalists are supported to do their work.

We’re also donating to the following causes, and, if you’re able, we would encourage you to support in any way you can:

Make a donation

Ukrainian Red Cross | Providing emergency aid to all those in need

Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights | Supporting women and LGBTQI+ people in and around Ukraine

Voices of Children | Helping children in Ukraine affected by conflict

Other ways to help

@RazomForUkraine has created a list of actions you can take to help, from contacting elected officials and attending events, to volunteering your skills.

Support Ukraine Now has curated country-specific ways to help for 32 countries.

Two years ago, as the Covid-19 virus was spreading throughout the world, we wrote that the web is a lifeline in times of crisis. The same is true now as Ukraine comes under attack. The web has helped to inspire resistance and assist fact-checkers to debunk war propaganda, to help people navigate to safety and find places to stay, to keep families and friends connected, and to enable others across the region and beyond to stand in solidarity and provide support. These scenes are yet another reminder of why we must nurture and protect a safe, empowering web for everyone.

Share stories of the web in Ukraine

The Web Foundation is documenting and celebrating ways the web is being used to help during this crisis. If you’ve seen the web being used for good in Ukraine, add them to our Twitter thread or reply to this email and we will share.

Thanks, as ever, for your support for a free and open web.

Tim and Rosemary

Tim Berners-Lee and Rosemary Leith
Web Foundation Co-Founders