The only way to protect civilians and minimise the suffering of the Ukrainian people is for Russia to end this unjust and vicious war, says a joint statement by the European Union, Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
The statement was released on 24 May to mark three months since the start of the Russian Federation’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.
“In this time, thousands have lost their lives and attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure continue to escalate. The human suffering inflicted by this war is despicable and the massive impact will be felt by communities and families for years to come,” says the statement.
The EU and its partners recall the most alarming moments of these three months of war: “Civilians, including vulnerable groups, have been blocked from evacuating and routes being used by those trying to escape have been targeted. The world has been shocked by the immense suffering and atrocities caused by units of the Russian Armed Forces in places such as Bucha, Irpin and Mariupol. Forced relocations into temporarily Russian-held territory and Russia are alarming. The attack on Kramatorsk train station was one of many appalling examples of the risks and trauma populations continue to endure as they attempt to seek safety.”
According to the statement, the speed and scale of displacement that has occurred in this crisis is unprecedented. Over 25% of the population of Ukraine have fled from their homes in three months, and 4.5 million Ukrainian children are displaced.
The EU and its partners highlight the role of Ukrainian NGOs in supporting the population during the war and call on Russia to respect international humanitarian law. At the same time, the statement notes that the “only way to protect civilians and minimise the suffering of the Ukrainian people is for Russia to end this unjust and vicious war”.
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