24 March marks a month since the Russian army invaded Ukraine on the orders of President Putin. This followed the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia and the illegal occupation of parts of the Donbas by Russian forces and their proxies in 2014.

The invasion of Ukraine has shown the world that Ukrainians are determined to fight for their freedom, with an inspiring strength and resilience that has stopped the Russian invading forces in their tracks.

This has come at a huge cost to the civilian population. Around one in four Ukrainians has been internally displaced, civilian deaths are higher than military losses, over 120 children have died, and millions have suffered constant bombardment of their homes. Russia’s total disregard for human life has created a humanitarian crisis, with thousands still trapped in bombed-out cities, and no access to water or food.

We call on the UK government and its NATO partners to continue to support Ukraine in every way they can. The highest priority is to stop the war, by providing Ukraine with the weaponry and equipment it needs to fight back. This must include aircraft and air defences, as well as protective equipment for Ukraine’s territorial defence forces.

Western partners must not believe that Russia is serious about peace while Russia continues to kill innocent civilians. President Putin understands only strength and any weakening of the West’s military support for Ukraine will simply fuel his ambitions to recreate a Soviet sphere of influence. Unlike in 2014, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine must fail comprehensively so that Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is fully restored, and so that the Ukrainian people can live in a free and democratic country that respects the human rights of every individual. Until then, all last vestiges of diplomatic, economic, cultural and sporting ties with Russia must now be severed without exception.

We welcome the UK Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme and will be happy to work with the government and non-governmental agencies as it develops so that those displaced and traumatised by war can be settled quickly and efficiently, and find a safe haven to rebuild their lives before returning to their homes in a free Ukraine.

President Zelensky has spoken to governments all around the world and has made clear that if Ukrainians are given the support they deserve, then Ukraine’s fight will protect peace and stability in the whole of Europe.

Board of Directors
24 March 2022