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Putin will continue attacking until Russia is stopped. Help Ukraine defend its freedom today!

25.02.2022
Halya Coynash

Russian bombs hitting Mariupol Photo 0629.com.ua, Ukrainians seaking shelter from Russian bombs in the Kharkiv metro, Photo Suspilne Kharkiv

In 2014, the world failed to react decisively when Russia invaded and annexed Crimea and brought death and destruction to eastern Ukraine.  Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin has now initiated an invasion of all of Ukraine and he will not stop there if allowed to succeed.  After the first day of Russia’s bombing and invasion of Ukrainian cities, some western countries are still opposing the disconnection of Russia from the SWIFT payments network.  This is one of the only moves at present that could seriously and immediately hurt Russia badly.  Since that would save lives here and now, it defies belief that Germany; Italy; Hungary and Cyprus should be blocking it.  

Putin has used the same grotesque lies which the Kremlin tried on in 2014.  The nonsensical claims about Ukraine having been taken over by ‘anti-Semitic and fascist hordes’ were publicly rejected then by Ukrainian Jewish leaders, yet he is effectively regurgitating them again now, despite the surreal absurdity of accusing President Volodymyr Zelensky, a Ukrainian Jew, of being a ‘Nazi’.  It is undoubtedly good that western countries have dismissed such evident attempts to conceal open aggression, but Ukrainians need more than simply messages of support.  They need the firmest and harshest of sanctions, and they can also not survive without receiving military aid.  The fact that Russia will claim that this is an act of aggression or provocation is hardly an excuse for inaction.  Russia has invaded Ukrainian territory, and it will assuredly not try to wage war simultaneously with NATO members. 

There is information at the bottom about how you can help Ukrainians defending their country by donating in different currency.  You can also make a difference by writing to your elected representatives, asking them to support (at least) defensive weapons for Ukraine and truly effective sanctions.  Russia is trying to push the narrative that ‘sanctions don’t work’, with all too many other international players more than happy to avoid the pain such sanctions do inevitably cause.  The failure to impose harsh sanctions in 2014 probably did give Russia the opportunity to build defences against many of the sanctions.  They do, however, still hurt, and disconnection from SWIFT would be a very significant lever. 

Help fight information warfare!

Russia wants the world to believe that there are ‘separatists’ in Donbas, facing ‘genocide’ from the Ukrainian Armed Forces who “called on Russia” for help; that Russia felt ‘at threat’ from NATO, etc.  While the images in all international media today clearly show that Ukraine has been attacked, the relentless repetition of lies always has impact. 

There are no ‘separatist’ ‘Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics’ in eastern Ukraine.  There are Russian-controlled armed formations, created in 2014 by Russians, including Igor Girkin, who had first helped Russia seize control of Crimea.  It is well to remember that Moscow only replaced the so-called ‘leaders’ of these entities with Ukrainian citizens in August 2014, shortly after the downing by a Russian military BUK missile of Malaysian airliner MH17.   One of the Russians hurriedly removed from Donbas, Alexander Borodai has himself admitted that he and Girkin were replaced because it looked bad for Moscow that such ‘separatist leaders’ were Russian.

Russia has openly occupied Crimea since 2014, and has wielded full, although denied, control over a third of the Donbas region for almost as long. Putin has now directly stated that Russia’s ‘recognition’ of these proxy ‘republics’ covers the entire area of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, with this including major cities such as Mariupol.  His absurd excuse was that these are the boundaries illegally stipulated in the illegal formations’ so-called ‘constitutions’.  None of those cities wish to become part or again fall under the control of Russia’s proxies, and any such expansion will be at the cost of human lives.  This, it should be stressed, is of no concern to Putin who repeated his denial of Ukraine’s right to exist in his effective declaration of war on 24 February.

The claims about ‘genocide’ are simply absurd, and Russia’s attempts over recent months to claim that it must “defend its own citizens” especially cynical since it has been illegally handing out such ‘citizenship’ since 2019.  It is the proxy ‘republics’ that are holding at the very least 300 civilian hostages and use secret prisons, like Izolyatsia in occupied Donetsk, to torture both men and women.  The human rights situation in both occupied Crimea and Donbas has plummeted to even lower depths than that in Russia and massively lower than in Ukraine. 

Please help circulate such information.  Details can be found in the following:

Russian-occupied Crimea and Donbas close to North Korea in Freedom House rating

Rule of Lawlessness in Occupied Crimea and Russia’s Proxy Donbas ‘Republics’

Donations

These are some addresses of  trusted organizations provided by the Ukraine Crisis Media Centre

Come back alive

https://savelife.in.ua/en/donate/

This organization works directly with the command and personnel of military units, purchasing infrared thermal imaging cameras, night vision goggles, hemostatics etcc

Army SOS

https://armysos.com.ua/pomoch-armii

This manages the purchase of ammunition; shields; intercommunication and reconnaissance facilities, etc. and delivers all goods directly)

Phoenix Wings

http://wings-phoenix.org.ua/en/about-fund/

This provides the appropriate equipment & uniform, personal non-lethal protection (vests, helmets), required treatment of the wounded soldiers, and repair of the buildings used by the army.

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