Focus on the Cause! What Citizens of a Free World Can Do to End the War in Ukraine
The Ukrainians who had to flee from Ukraine are warmly welcomed in the EU countries by the local people, who help them to accommodate and start their new (hopefully temporary) life in the EU. The support and engagement of the EU citizens are unprecedented, and Ukrainians are very grateful to all the good-willed people, who are helping them.
While this support helps to tackle the refugee crisis, which is the consequence, we can do more and consolidate our efforts in tackling its cause – together, we can do more to stop the war!
Following numerous requests and conversations, here are some thoughts on what EU citizens, as well as citizens of the free world, can do.
Engage with your national authorities and at the European and international level in all possible ways with the main appeal being – to do everything to end the war, people’s suffering and prevent this war from spreading!
Here are some main messages you can convey to the authorities of your countries, as well as decision-makers at the European and international levels:
- We do not know if Putin has set any boundaries in the lines that he will cross when it comes to acts of war. His destruction of nuclear stations and bombings of civilians across Ukraine has shown the potential to carry out outrageous acts. As we are unaware of his personal limits and whether they actually exist, we need to act as if these limits do not exist at all. We need to stop Putin before he decides to expand his invasion or carry out devastating acts against other countries too!
- Protect Ukraine, as you would protect your own country!
- Act now, as if this attack was on your country! This may be the only way to avoid the real necessity to protect your country and the whole of Europe or the world from the next possible Russian invasion.
Here are some concrete measures that national, European, and international leaders can take to help Ukraine now:
- Speed up and enforce the process of weaponising Ukraine with:
- heavy weapons,
- air defence systems,
- the creation of no-fly zone over Ukraine or supplying Ukraine with necessary means for Ukrainians to do this themselves.
- Protect Ukrainian civilians. Russians are bombing Ukrainian cities and sabotaging the evacuation of civilians from the cities, affected by military actions. They are taking Ukrainian people, hostage, as part of their questionable “negotiation” techniques. This must be stopped immediately! European, international partners, and organisations must increase their pressure on Russian authorities to free civilians and provide them with humanitarian assistance.
- Make extensive sanctions against Russia, including an embargo on purchasing oil and gas (their main source of income). The Russian economy is an economic basis for the Russian military machine. We need to do everything possible to stop it as soon as possible. The faster the action, the more lives will be saved. As citizens, you can influence your businesses to withdraw from the Russian market and you can intentionally stop buying anything produced or related to Russia.
Stopping the Russian invasion is in our hands!
We can prevent this war from becoming a pan-European or global war!
We need to act now! We need to act together!
By Olena Carbou, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Think Tanks Liasion Office in Brussels