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Ukraine invasion: Two year anniversary

Updated: Mar 12

This week I spoke at an event in the House of Lords hosted by Progressive Britain to mark the two year anniversary of Russia's full scale invasion of Ukraine. This also marked a decade since the annexation of Crimea.

The event explored how effective the West's response has been to Russian aggression in Ukraine and Eastern Europe and what long-term support for Ukraine could look like in the face of tough economic and financial circumstances at home.

Other speakers included Plymouth MP and Shadow Armed Forces Minister Luke Pollard MP, journalist Paul Mason and former Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Ivanna Klympush.

The war in Ukraine continues unabated and Putin's aggression continues to affect countries and democracy in the region and beyond. The recent interview with Tucker Carlson reminded us that Putin has been emboldened by failures of Western foreign policy. It also provided a window into his revisionist view of history. We should never underestimate his ambitions in the region and a potential Trump presidency in the US heightens the risk this could pose to all of us.

I called on the UK to unambiguously support the Ukrainians in their fight to protect their territorial integrity and sovereignty. And I am proud to be part of a Party that is steadfast in its support for the Ukrainians, their cause and for the NATO defensive alliance.

I also encouraged the audience to look to the long-term. The UK could be providing far greater support for the investigation of war crimes including human trafficking and sexual violence in conflict perpetrated by the Russians, and we should be at the heart of determining the shape of a Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Ukraine.

Closer to home, the conflict should focus our minds on improving our own resilience to threats posed by disinformation and authoritarian regimes. We should be strengthening our democracy, not weakening it. We should be investing in cleaning up our energy mix and building our home-grown renewable capacity. And we should be trying to clean up our property and financial industries from the scourge of dirty money.

To follow up this event I am hosting a roundtable with Shadow Minister for Europe Stephen Doughty on the 4th March to discuss the role Eastern Europe is playing in the defence of democracy across Europe. More here.

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3월 13일

We must stand up to Putin and be united in doing so, however we must agree on the end game. Is it to revert back to the borders pre February 2022, or is it for Ukraine to recover Crimea as well? Without this clarity then defeating Putin becomes more difficult, with the worst case scenario that for all the suffering endured by innocent people, a shady compromise will be agreed, and the Ukrainians will feel let down and betrayed.

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