It has been a truly terrible and incredible week. War has returned to Europe following the completely unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops. Most major cities are now surrounded and there are reports of mass casualties amongst soldiers and civilians, evidence of crimes against humanity on a national scale, and no-one has any idea how far Putin is willing to go in his objective of ‘regime change’ in the region.
The scenes of war playing out across the media are horrific, but perhaps worse is the humanitarian crisis unfolding before our eyes. More than 800,000 refugees have now fled their homeland in search of safety. That number is like to surpass 1 million within days. In the EU, countries are throwing open their borders, and while here in the UK the Home Office announced they have ‘generously’ expanded their entry requirements, they refuse to lift visa checks which will leave many stranded in limbo while they wait for paperwork to be processed. I have also been deeply disturbed by some people online, including the MSP for Falkirk East, trying to draw parallels between Scotland and Ukraine, comments that would almost be laughable if the situation weren’t so deadly serious for those now living in a warzone.
Now more than ever, the international community must continue to stand united in the face of such naked aggression. To protect the ideals of liberal democracy, we must show Putin that he cannot get away with committing atrocities, and that he cannot divide us. Together we are always stronger, and we can help those in need today, right now.
The Disasters Emergency Committee is already working on the ground in Ukraine, so please donate if you can spare anything. In the meantime, the thoughts of all of us are with the people of Ukraine, and to all the people who are standing up to Putin and his ilk and saying no to war.