Exactly 12 months ago, on 24 February 2022 Russia launched a full scale invasion in its ongoing war against Ukraine. After one year, this war has cost the lives of tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilians, including almost five-hundred children, and brought unspeakable suffering upon the Ukrainian people. It has caused the biggest refugee crisis in European history since the end of World War II, displacing more than 8 million people from their homes. This is worsened by the continuous missile attacks and air attacks against civilian targets across Ukrainian cities.
This is a war of choice. Russia decided to invade Ukraine because it denied the Ukrainian people the right to make their own decisions about the political future of their country. Evidence of the actions of Russia’s military forces in Ukraine have caused the International Criminal Court to open an investigation against Russia into crimes against humanity, including war crimes.
The defensive efforts of Ukrainian forces have brought the Russian advances to a grueling halt and led to liberations in other areas. Still, Russia has brazenly annexed four regions of Ukraine in a PR-exercise marketed as referendums and continues to occupy roughly 17% of Ukraine’s territory. However, no vote could feasibly be organized within the time frame of a few days, nor could a free and fair vote be guaranteed under Russia’s hostile occupation.
We, as young Europeans, believe that it is therefore right and just that all Ukrainian territories, as recognized under its 1992 constitution, be returned to Ukraine in order to protect the lives of civilians and restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
For all the explained above, AEGEE:
Condemns in the strongest terms possible the use of violence against civilians in Ukraine as a means of warfare and the attempts to eradicate the Ukrainian national identity.
Condemns in particular the suffering brought to young people all across Ukraine, from children forcibly separated from their parents, to destroyed schools and young people’s stolen hopes and dreams.
Demands that European governments and the EU continue providing all necessary support to Ukraine, especially in terms of financial and humanitarian assistance.
Applauds the strength and resilience of our Ukrainian locals who keep the vision of a democratic and united Europe alive, even in the darkest of times.
Hopes for a genuinely peaceful future for both Ukraine and Russia despite the long and difficult road to get there.