Solidarity With Ukraine
Each week Ciarán Quinn sends a Letter from Ireland as part of the Friends of Sinn Féin Newsletter.
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a Chara, There is a sense of disbelief watching the events in Ukraine. A European nation has been invaded. Our social media and nightly news flooded with images of rocket attacks, military columns, and lines of refugees. The homeplace of many of our neighbors in Ireland is under attack in the name of some others who share our island. Families are anxious to bring friends and loved ones to the safety of Ireland. Earlier this week a number of Ukrainians hugged their families goodbye as they left Dublin airport to travel to defend Ukraine. The scenes were heartbreaking. Their future is unknown. Their bravery is unquestionable. In the build-up to the invasion, most believed we were watching political brinkmanship. Holding to the view that Europe and its borders were stable. An invasion by a hostile foreign power was inconceivable. To be fair, the US Administration was consistent in their assessment that Putin would invade and was playing for time and advantage. And then it happened. The news broke of airstrikes and troop movements. War executed suddenly and ruthlessly. An asymmetric war. Ukraine never threatened to invade Russia. Russia invaded Ukraine. A world superpower invaded a weaker neighbor under an imperialist pretext. Russia telling Ukrainians that their nation does not exist. There will be others who will argue about context and history and rightly call out hypocrisy. These are academic debates while the self-determination of Ukraine has been violated and war brought to their homes. The one spark of hope has been the speed and determination of global players to hold Russia to account. To rally around Ukraine and to take action against Russian interests. Now is the time for nations across the world to reset international standards. To peacefully enforce international law and make clear the sovereignty of Ukraine must be respected. Wars can be avoided, conflicts ended, and invasion forces withdrawn. The future is uncertain. I always believe that peace and justice will eventually win out. I just hope it is not at the cost of further loss of life. Now my thoughts are for those fleeing conflict and with those fighting to defend their homeland. We must do all we can for both and avoid deepening the crisis. Ciarán Ciarán Quinn is the Sinn Féin Representative to North America