Kyiv, 11 April 2022
EaP CSF Ukrainian National Platform Steering Committee Statement to the members of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum
The Steering Committee of the Ukrainian National Platform of the EaP CSF thanks the Forum’s National Platforms for their support and condemnation of the Russian war against Ukraine, and calls on all National Platforms and individual Forum members to help end this unjustified and bloody Russian aggression.
After eight years of hybrid war, launched by the Russian Federation against Ukraine in 2014, on 24 February 2022, our country was subjected to a large-scale military invasion by Russian armed forces. The technological achievements of modern civilization now allow everyone to become a spectator, witnessing atrocities and war crimes committed by the Russian military in real time. This unjustified and bloody war brought an unprecedented level of death, suffering and destruction upon Ukraine. About 4 million people have fled the country so far, while 10 million have abandoned their homes. Many cities are almost completely destroyed – Mariupol, Kharkiv, Volnovakha, Chernihiv, Irpin, Bucha, Vorzel, Makariv along with many other towns and villages. Nowhere in Ukraine is safe anymore – day by day missile strikes are gradually destroying the entire country.
There are strong indications that serious violations of international humanitarian law and gross violations of international human rights law have occurred following the Russian Federation’s armed attack on Ukraine on 24 February. So says a new update issued by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.
Even the confirmed statistics, which cannot be completed in wartime, are striking. As of 5 April 2022, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recorded 3,776 civilian casualties in Ukraine: with 1,563 killed and 2,213 injured. The OHCHR believes that the actual figures are considerably higher, as the receipt of information from some locations where intense fighting is ongoing has been delayed and many reports are still pending corroboration. According to the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, as of 11 April, there have been almost 525 child casualties since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation. Of these, 183 were killed and more than 342 were injured.
The brutality of the Russian armed forces knows no bounds. The world has recently been shaken by horrific footage from Bucha, Irpin and other towns near Kyiv. The abuse, rape and genocide of Ukrainian people continues in other regions, where the footprints of Russian soldiers are still fresh on the ground. Putin has done nothing to stop his soldiers, who are committing war crimes at an increasing rate every day and every hour in the until recently peaceful Ukraine.
That is why we ask you to help Ukraine in this crucial period of time for our country.
We thank the Forum’s National Platforms for their support and condemnation of the Russian war against Ukraine, and call on all National Platforms and individual Forum members to help end this unjustified and bloody Russian aggression.
- to spread reliable information about Russian military aggression in Ukraine, to publicise Russian war crimes in Ukraine, to fight Russian fake news and disinformation about this war in your countries, which is one of the key tools in Putin’s arsenal;
- to assist international organisations in documenting Russian war crimes in accordance with international standards, as well as the consequences of Russian military action for the environment;
- to appeal to the governments of your countries and to the international community to condemn the actions of Russia and maintain its isolation on the world stage;
- to help refugees from Ukraine who have been forced to leave their homeland, as well as to help Ukrainian civil society organisations;
- to assist law enforcement agencies in their countries to prevent sexual and gender-based violence against refugees from Ukraine.
We are aware that the future of the entire Eastern Partnership region depends on the outcome of this war. In our opinion, not only Ukraine but also all other countries in the region are interested in ending the imperial ambitions of modern Russia. The participation of civil society organisations can make an important contribution to achieving peace and stability in the region.
Members of the Steering Committee of the Ukrainian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum