One year ago today, Russia began its illegal invasion of Ukraine.
Since then, death tolls have continued to rise, over 5 million Ukrainians have been displaced and, as a result, the refugee crisis in Europe has reached its highest levels since WWII.
The unprecedented level of courage, resolve and bravery we have seen is remarkable. And this is why I am writing today, because — together — as Europeans, as internationalists, and as fellow humans, Ukraine is with us, and we are with them.
With international support, Ukraine managed to survive the winter and earlier this month President Zelenskyy travelled – for the first time since Russia’s invasion began – to deliver speeches around Europe. First in Westminster and then in Brussels, where Zelensky announced to the European Parliament that Ukraine, one day, will join the European Union.
Last March our movement was invited to organise the UK with Ukraine rally in London, alongside the Mayor of London’s office. And what I said to the crowds in Trafalgar Square still rings true today, that the only route to a peaceful future is one where we unite with our neighbours in Europe and around the world.
What we have all seen over the last 12 months is that, in the face of Putin’s lethal campaign to annex parts of Ukraine, Europe is stronger when European nations work closely together.
In what has been a dark year, we have seen that freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights are the true values which unite our continent.
Putin gave a state-of-the-nation address on Tuesday morning ahead of today, the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine today.
"I want to repeat,” Putin told the world, “it is them who are culpable for the war, and we are using force to stop it."
He went on to announce that he will suspend Russia’s participation in New START, the last remaining nuclear arms treaty with the US.
But such threats are not new.
Putin’s invasion of Ukraine underscores the importance of working across Europe to bolster our security and defence.
This is why The European Movement will continue to advocate for a closer relationship between the UK, Ukraine and the EU to defend our shared democracy and ensure Ukraine prevails.
Together, we must continue protecting and fighting for Ukraine's right to live in a peaceful and united Europe.