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Ukrainians in Australia call for increased support for Ukraine

#UWC news
January 3,2024 995
Ukrainians in Australia call for increased support for Ukraine

The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO) has appealed to the Australian Parliament to increase support for Ukraine. The letter, signed by Stefan Romaniw, the UWC First Vice President and Co-Chair of the AFUO, as well as Kateryna Argyrou, a member of the UWC Board of Directors and AFUO Co-Chair, was sent on January 2 as a reaction to the numerous massive Russian attacks on Ukraine.

“We are writing to you urgently during the holiday period. On December 29, Russia carried out one of the most massive air strikes against Ukraine. At least 53 civilians were killed, and over 150 people suffered serious injuries as a result of these horrific actions. We understand that this is one of the largest attacks on Ukraine since the full–scale invasion by Russia in February 2022,” reads the appeal to Richard Marles, a member of parliament, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Defense of Australia.

It is crucial to provide Ukraine with the military assistance needed for defense as soon as possible, as emphasized by AFUO. The scale and brutality of Russia’s attacks are shocking – this year, Russians are targeting not only Ukraine’s energy infrastructure but also its civilian population. Occupiers are destroying residential buildings, maternity hospitals, schools, kindergartens, and churches.

“The recent attack also aimed to demoralize Ukrainians, intimidate our partners, and create an impression of the strength and success of Russia. This attack, which is not an isolated incident but occurred after two years of continuous air attacks on Ukraine, once again underscores the urgency of providing Ukraine with the military assistance it needs for defense. The outcome of Ukraine’s struggle this winter will depend on ground and air capabilities,” the appeal states.

AFUO strongly urged Australia to provide additional military support to Ukraine as quickly as possible. “We understand that discussions on future support are taking place directly between the governments of Australia and Ukraine. But we also know about voices in the Australian community turning to AFUO, requesting to encourage additional government support, echoing the regular public appeals of President Zelenskyy and Chief Commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine General Valerii Zaluzhnyi,” the appeal states.

AFUO expressed gratitude for the military and diplomatic support provided to Ukraine by the Australian government. “However, the community we represent believes that Australia can and should do more. Ukrainians in Australia believe Australia’s support for Ukraine has decreased in ambition and frequency over the past 12 months. AFUO plays a crucial role in conveying the views of our community directly to you,” wrote AFUO to Richard Marles.

Ukrainians in Australia also urged the minister to consider a new package of military support for Ukraine urgently. “This will send a strong signal that Australia will not stand aside while Russia continues to orchestrate larger and deadlier attacks on Ukraine with the direct aim of destroying its independence, freedom, and people,” the appeal states.

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