It is 100 days since Russian forces launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s army has caused brutal devastation not seen in Europe since the Second World War: peaceful cities have been razed to the ground, thousands of innocent civilians have been murdered, including over 300 children, schools and hospitals have been targeted and destroyed, and millions of Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes and country.
Russia’s inhuman war has flagrantly disregarded human life and all international laws.The world has been shocked by the evidence of appalling war crimes. Civilians have been targeted, shot in cold-blood, raped, terrorised, or used as human shields. Over 1 million Ukrainians, including children, have been forcibly taken from their homeland and transported to Russian camps.
Russia has not only threatened peace in the whole of Europe, but also created a food crisis for some of the most vulnerable nations of the world by stealing Ukrainian grain and blocking transport of vital grain supplies.
And yet, Ukraine’s armed forces and people resist – fighting for their own sovereignty and survival, and to protect peace and security in Europe.
In the United Kingdom, there has been an outpouring of support for Ukraine and her people. The British public responded immediately by collecting, filling and despatching thousands of vehicles with humanitarian aid to Eastern Europe and Ukraine. The UK Government, fully backed by all political parties, provided and continues to provide substantial military aid. The Disasters Emergency Committee alone has so far raised over £400million. More than 100,000 people signed up to host Ukrainian displaced persons on the same day that the Homes for Ukraine Scheme was announced.
The depth and breadth of this country’s stalwart support for Ukraine has been overwhelming. We are immensely grateful and thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts!
Our Ukrainian diaspora in Great Britain too has raised millions to provide medical and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Our Help Ukraine Emergency Appeal, thanks to thousands of generous donations large and small, has raised over £3 million for charities in Ukraine providing aid to Ukrainians suffering the trauma of war and displacement. And now, our AUGB branches and communities all over the country are helping to welcome displaced Ukrainians, and providing the support they need to rebuild their lives.
We are very proud of Ukraine’s response and resilience in the face of a callous Russian aggressor and equally proud of the UK and our Ukrainian diaspora for their commitment in supporting Ukraine and her people.
Ukraine will continue to fight until the last Russian soldier leaves Ukraine and the country’s territorial integrity is restored – at a huge cost to the nation. We call on the UK Government and its partners to do everything in their power to hasten the defeat of Russia, with whatever it takes in further sanctions, weaponry, equipment and financial aid. Urgent action is also needed to create safe passage for Ukrainian grain to worldwide destinations and stop Russia once again using famine as a weapon.
We demand no capitulation to Russia’s imperial ambitions, no lessening of sanctions, and no pressure on Ukraine to cede territory. Any weakness in the response to aggression – as in 2014 - will simply allow Russia to threaten independent sovereign nations and territories with impunity. As Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stated: “Putin must fail”.
Ukraine fights on – for victory in Ukraine and stability in Europe. Every democratic nation must remain steadfastly united with its allies and continue to stand with Ukraine, to uphold international law and secure a lasting peace.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
London, 3 June 2022
Click here for a printable copy of the statement.