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UC Davis to offer free service to help Ukrainian refugees protect their personal documents

UC Davis has announced they're offering a free and confidential service called "Article 26 Backpack."

DAVIS, Calif. — As thousands of people continue to flee Ukraine each day and seek refuge, UC Davis has announced they're offering a free and confidential service called "Article 26 Backpack." It's meant to help Ukrainian refugees protect their personal documents.

“During these tense times, you lose the document and of course in that moment, losing that document is a minor thing because you’re trying to save your life or the life of your family — but later on, that document is gonna be critical to establish yourself again and that’s why we want to really help,” said Joanna Regulska, vice provost and dean of Global Affairs at UC Davis.

On Thursday morning, a Ukrainian official announced no results came out of talks with Russians, but there was an emphasis on the importance of humanitarian corridors.

"What is happening right now in Ukraine, it's not the first time," Regulska said. "This is the pattern of how Russia has been engaging with different parts of the former Soviet Union."

Regulska says the most immediate thing that needs to be addressed is mental health in women and children that have escaped war in Ukraine and are traumatized. She also says gender-based violence is another issue that will affect many Ukrainian women.

"Before even we get to economic empowerment, we have to address these other challenges that women especially are vulnerable to — women and adolescent girls," Regulska said. "I am sure issues of depression, low (self) esteem, vulnerability — all these things are just amplified right now through the tragic journey to the border."

UC Davis is assisting their Ukrainian and Russian students by engaging with them and guiding them to external support.

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