War on the streets of Europe is a phrase you’d expect to be confined to the pages of history, yet that is exactly what is happening in Ukraine. The Russian Federation has been waging a campaign of aggression against its neighbour. Just over 2 weeks ago Russian forces crossed the border into Ukraine and so the war began, or at least that’s what we call it here in the Western World, Vladimir Putin is describing it as a “special military” operation and refuses to call it an invasion or a war. 

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The Russian onslaught has been relentless, their strategy seems to be one of attrition, wearing down the Ukrainian military and civilians alike. Their tactics have included the use of heavy artillery, missile strikes and airstrikes against civilian areas. The aim is clearly to cause as much damage and destruction as possible to weaken the resolve of the Ukrainians and force them to surrender, a resolve one cannot help but think that Putin has underestimated. 

What is happening in Ukraine is a full-scale Russian invasion, there is no other way to describe it. Putin has repeatedly lied to the international community about his intentions in Ukraine and continues to do so. The Russian military has been pounding Ukrainian cities with airstrikes and artillery fire, destroying civilian areas and killing innocent people, and for what? Putin astonishingly claims that he is trying to denazify a country that is led by a Jewish man. I have traveled a little bit, seen most corners of the earth, yet I am still to find a Jewish Nazi! 

In the face of such aggression, should NATO be doing more to help the Ukrainians defend themselves? or are they doing nothing? . The answer to that question is a little bit of both, NATO has been providing some support to the Ukrainians but it is clearly not enough. Putin knows this and is taking advantage of it. The Russian president has shown himself to be a liar and a cheat, he cannot be trusted. He has violated the sovereignty of another country and shown contempt for the international community and its laws.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine must be stopped, and the only way to do that is to impose serious sanctions on Putin and his cronies. They must be isolated until they withdraw their forces from Ukrainian soil and agree to respect the sovereignty of that country. We cannot let Russia get away with this.

We have this week seen large American companies such as Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and McDonald’s all close stores in Russia, but still, continue to pay their staff, whilst I understand the reason for doing so, the idea of sanctions is maximum pressure not only externally but internally, sadly I feel like the only way to stop this war is for something to change internally, the Russian people revolting and Putin stepping down, or being forced down like the downfall of Ghadafi… is that too much to ask?

It would seem that there is no clear end in sight to the Russian Invasion of Ukraine, it is increasingly likely that the conflict will continue for some time. The Ukrainians are putting up a brave fight, but they are heavily outgunned and outnumbered by the Russian forces. It is going to take a concerted effort by the international community to help end this way.

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We have watched as day after day the UN hold senseless votes condemning the actions of Russia, but to what end? the UN is seemingly obsolete, why have a vote when the country is just going to ignore whatever the outcome is, after all Russia has a veto in the UN anyway… What is the point in countries having a veto? China, Russia, France, Our Mob, and The United States can veto any vote. It wouldn’t have taken a genius to figure out that conflict in the future would likely involve Russia and The US, so why did the UN give them all a veto?

Many political commentators are saying the only way to stop Russia is to take action, but that means NATO needs to get involved. The narrative is, If we don’t act now, it will be too late, and Putin will have succeeded in his goal of destroying a democratic country and its people, does he stop with Ukraine? or does he do as he has practically already said and turn his beady eyes to the former Soviet States. Inaction now may cause us a bigger problem in the long run… So what do you do in Boris’s shoes or Biden’s slippers?

Just in case you have missed the news over the past 2 weeks I invite you to google ‘Russian Invasion of Ukraine’ and see for yourself the devastation that is being brought on the people of that country.

To the people of Ukraine, I pray for you and your safety, I weep with you as I write this.

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To the people of Russia, I ask that you please stand up to your government and demand that they stop this war. It is not too late for you to change things, but it will take courage and strength.

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