Today, on the International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, the Ukrainian World Congress honors the memory of all victims of terrorism. We also commemorate those innocent lives of thousands of Ukrainian civilians that were lost as a result of the atrocious full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine and the genocide against the people of Ukraine carried out by the Russian invaders.
Culminating with the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, terrorism in the 20th century was associated with such radical networks such as the IRA, Taliban and Al Queda. While the terrorism inflicted by these cells was horrific, their capacity to wreak widespread terror was limited. Since 9/11, Democratic countries have implemented counter-terrorism policies that significantly diminished terrorist networks.
However, the 21st century has seen the rise of the much greater threat of state-sponsored terrorism. Autocratic states integrate terrorism with ideological policy to dismantle the democratic world order. Terrorist states terrorize their own people and export terrorism to their idealogical enemies – countries that support individual freedom and rule of law.
Russia is by far the largest country that routinely carries out terrorism domestically and abroad. Russia forges alliances with other despots, for example, Belarus, Syria, Iran, and North Korea, to perpetuate brutality against enemies on a wider scale. It annexed parts of eastern Ukraine in 2014 and created the terrorist puppets of Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics.
UWC sincerely remembers and lifts up all victims of terrorism. We amplify their voices and support their pursuit of justice and peace. We urge all democratic countries to reaffirm their resolve to combat terrorism and the rise of authoritarianism across the globe and we once again call upon the US and the EU to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
To honor victims of terror, we must work actively to reduce the ability of terrorist states to harm the innocent. We must stand resolved to stop financing state terror, fight against their propaganda and deny them access to exploit the freedoms that they seek to destroy.