Following is the text of a statement released on October 13 by the Illinois Division of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America for the October 14 international day of protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his war in Ukraine.
The day of protest was organized via social media and was reported to include events worldwide, including in cities in Switzerland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Latvia, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Rumania, the Czech Republic, Austria, Belgium, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Hungary, Israel, Poland, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ukraine and others.
The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), Illinois Division, joins our fellow Americans, our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, and friends of Ukraine throughout the world, in condemning Putin’s military aggression in Ukraine. October 14 has been designated as a day of protest, calling upon the world community to “Stop Putin – Stop the War in Ukraine.”
Russian military formations and their surrogates, including advanced weapons systems, continue to pour into the Donbas region, in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian defense forces and the civilian population along the war zone are subjected to incessant shelling – over 10,000 have died, thousands more wounded and over 1.8 million have been driven from their homes.
Therefore, we appeal to President Obama and to the international community to force Putin to stop the killing.
The re-emergence of an aggressive and hegemonic authoritarian Russia, bent on dominating its neighbors, is a threat not only to Ukraine. The security and unity of the Euro-Atlantic community, including NATO, has never been under greater threat since the collapse of the USSR. For the first time since World War II Russia has used its military to invade one of the largest countries in Europe, Ukraine, following the invasion and occupation of the territory of another neighboring country, Georgia, and its earlier military intervention in Moldova.
Simultaneously, Russia has stepped up intimidation of NATO member states in Eastern Europe, especially Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, as well as efforts to destabilize the European Union and the Euro Atlantic partnership. Even U.S. and Canadian borders have not been immune from Russian military probing. The post-World War II international order is in tatters.
We call on the U.S. government and the international community to:
• Confront Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, its efforts to undermine Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and other former Captive Nations and its unceasing campaign to weaken NATO and the Euro-Atlantic community.
• Support Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the other former Captive Nations. They are directly resisting Russian efforts to impose its will over Europe. They should receive additional economic, humanitarian and militarily assistance from the U.S. and its allies.
• Acknowledge that despite over two years of Russian military aggression, the Ukrainian government and people have shown a remarkable resolve to resist and have mobilized a formidable military force. Together with sanctions imposed by the Euro-Atlantic community at the insistence of the former Captive Nations, Ukrainians have successfully thwarted further advances by the Russian army and its surrogates. Ukraine needs defensive lethal weapons now.
• Mobilize the international community to impose greater sanctions against Russia and assure they will remain in place until Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty are fully restored, including in Crimea.
• Recognize that Putin is not a partner in resolving international issues. Russia is a predator state that doesn’t respect the rights and welfare of its own citizens, much less international norms. Putin’s Russia must be compelled to renounce all acts of aggression, subversion, harassment, intimidation and interference in internal affairs of its neighbors and, most importantly, held accountable for its conduct!
Vice-President for Government Affairs
Vice-President for Government Affairs