1 year of aggressive war in Ukraine
“Without coming to terms with the past there is no future” Ivan Agrusov, Russian exile in Stalin times, founder of the International Society for Human Rights
Exactly 75 years ago, the human abyss that opened up after the Second World War forced the ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Exactly one year ago, the world was catapulted overnight into the horrors of World War II by Putin’s Russia.
Millions of grenade fires – For 365 days, Putin has been shaking the Ukrainian earth
Currently, 20,000 Russian shells are fired at Ukraine every day, according to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, when at the beginning of the war it was even more than twice that number.
Six-digit numbers for dead and injured
United Nations estimates of dead and injured soldiers (on both sides) are in the hundreds of thousands. That of the civilians in the tens of thousands. Including over a thousand children.
Forced deportation and abduction of children
It is estimated that more than a million Ukrainians, mainly from eastern Ukraine, were abducted to Russia, including up to 300,000 children who can be quickly given to Russian parents under the new Russian adoption law.
Largest refugee and humanitarian disaster since World War II
With almost 8 million Ukrainians, 90% of whom are women and children, who have fled abroad and around 6 million internally displaced persons, the United Nations has stated that it will be the greatest refugee catastrophe since the Second World War.
According to the UN, 17.6 million people in Ukraine are currently in urgent need of humanitarian aid.
Tik-Tok becomes War-Tok
Shortly before the start of the war, an ISHR article said: “An invasion of the Ukraine… would bring images into the world that no one can even think of…”
These images have long since become daily reality. Bombed cities and villages reduced to rubble, people tortured to death, streets paved with corpses, wailing old people and sobbing children.
In the age of social media, we are flooded with news and images from the war zone, “Tik-Tok” became a kind of “War-Tok” in the Ukraine, which each of us via mobile phone at any time live to the front up to in showing the trenches.
Russia’s holy war, murder lust against Annalena Baerbock, “biblically justified atomic bomb” for the “satanic” EU and NATO
Since Putin came to power 23 years ago, the country, which freed itself from Soviet dictatorship in 1991, has been gradually returned to a mafia-type dictatorship. Today, without exception, all media, clubs and organizations critical of the government are banned, and many of their representatives are behind bars or in exile.
The state media includes people like the well-known TV presenter Vladimir Soloviev, who not only wants to “wipe off” entire cities like Kharkiv and Kyiv, but also sanctifies the war against NATO and the West and believes that nuclear strikes are biblically justified. Soloviev, who compares the German chancellor to Hitler and states that it was Stalin’s mistake to let Germany exist.
Even high-ranking politicians are not interrupted when they get upset on television about why the German foreign minister wasn’t shot by a sniper when she was in Kharkiv.
The president of the Islamist Russian republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, known for his atrocities, takes an active part in the war with his notorious paramilitary mercenary troupe, the “Kadyrovzi”, consisting of several thousand men, and even sent three of his underage sons into the war. While same-sex marriage was constitutionally banned in Putin’s Russia, Kadyrov is even allowed to indulge in polygamy in his republic and officially demand it. Kadyrov publicly wants to burn down Ukraine and calls for taking Poland after Ukraine and continuing the fight against “Satanism” in Europe.
Like the private mercenary group “Wagner”, also known for their atrocities, they are working their way up the front, especially currently in the battles for Bakhmut, in “wave tactics”, in which the soldiers are practically used as cannon fodder.
ISHR in the war zone – time to survive
“We have no time for talks that are useless,” said Ukrainian President Zelensky in the summer of 2022, and again and again “we have no time for negotiations, it’s time to survive.”
This is also how the Ukrainian ISHR colleagues’ answer, what they would like to say on the occasion of February 24th, is to be understood, it was: “What is February 24th?”
With the support of the United Nations, ISHR-Ukraine has set up a network for the distribution of humanitarian aid, on which thousands of people who are particularly in need of help, such as the handicapped, the elderly, the sick and children, depend today.
The ISHR team struggles daily between minefields and bombings to the smallest villages, which are only a few kilometers away from the Russian border and has already been able to deliver humanitarian aid (water, food, hygiene articles and medicine) there for well over a million euros, where others cannot reach. They give these people confidence to survive this trauma and in turn these people give them the strength to survive.
The Ukrainian engine purrs
The Ukrainian people have come together like never before in their history, coalescing in a most admirable way into a powerful innovative engine in the daily struggle for survival. A fight for one’s own identity, for the Ukrainian nation, but also a fight for the European community of values, for democracy, for the rule of law and freedom.
Ukraine played out as a match-ball
And “while Stalin and Hitler were in power at the same time, more people died in Ukraine than anywhere else…in Europe or in the world,” states Timothy Snyder in his unique historical work Bloodlands.
Russia’s imperial claim to Ukraine goes far back in history. Ukrainians were persecuted as early as the 19th century, and their language, literature and culture were banned. At that time, Galicia, the easternmost crown land of the Habsburg monarchy with its capital Lemberg (Lviv), developed into a refuge for Ukrainian national thinkers.
However, while today’s European nation-states were formed after the First and Second World Wars, this was not granted to Ukraine.
Not least because of the fear of old and new Western leaders, and especially Germany, of Russian and Soviet superpower interests.
Against this background, Ukraine has always been something of a match-ball between West and East.
Apart from a clear moral responsibility towards Ukraine, Europe must today ask itself what indirect meaning this war has for the EU.
Russia itself is by far the largest country in the world. The entire EU fits in several times. Germany almost 50 times. Viewed in this way, the EU forms only a small, comparatively resource-poor western tip of the Eurasian continent.
With the capture of Ukraine, the largest country in Europe and Belarus, which Putin already has in his pocket with Lukashenko, with a threatening invasion of “Little Moldova”, this corner will become even smaller.
In addition, China, Iran, Brazil and many others are a kind of ally… and last but not least, since Trump we have known that America is not a solid rock for the EU either.
EU is facing its greatest challenge
While Ukraine has merged into an innovative entity for European values in its daily struggle for survival, the EU does not (yet) have the pistol directly on its chest and is made up of 27 member states. These include Hungary, whose majority wants political neutrality and whose president describes Ukraine as a no man’s land like Afghanistan, as well as a Western European population that is increasingly refusing arms deliveries, demanding immediate peace negotiations with Putin or simply “doing not want anything to do with this war”.
Nonetheless, the EU has carried out an amazing common “Zeitenwende” (turning point manoeuvre).
But what happens after a year and with no end to the war in sight?
Without a doubt, the EU (with England) is facing the greatest challenge in its history, but also in its future.
According to the ISHR, Ukraine must continue to be supported by all means:
“The freedom of Europe is being defended by the Ukrainians today.”
The International Society for Human Rights therefore raises the following demands
To the EU:
A strict unified line of support for Ukraine from all member states;
A unanimous condemnation of Russia as an aggressor;
Strengthening of work on documenting war crimes and establishment of a war crimes tribunal;
Support for trauma processing, especially for torture victims and children;
Continuation of the sanctions and stricter control of the numerous circumventions and violations of the sanctions;
Use of the approx. 350 billion euros of funds frozen by previous sanctions for the reconstruction of Ukraine, immediate investment of the funds;
Strengthening education and information about the importance of war for EU societies;
Strengthening of the distribution of reception and residence conditions for Ukrainian war refugees.
To the Russian government:
Immediate withdrawal of Russian occupying forces, mercenaries and criminals released for war out of Ukraine;
Immediately stop rocket fire on civilian infrastructure, particularly schools, hospitals and humanitarian aid distribution points;
Immediately stop the mass deportation and kidnapping of Ukrainian citizens and children in eastern Ukraine, they must be immediatelly returned to Ukraine.