Labour stands in solidarity with Ukrainian people on first anniversary of war

Ivana Bacik TD
24 February 2023
  • Russian ambassador must be expelled from Ireland

Labour leader Ivana Bacik has reiterated Labour’s solidarity with the people of Ukraine marking the first anniversary of Putin’s illegal and brutal invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking in advance of the rally organised by the Ukrainian Community in Ireland at the GPO, O’Connell Street at 2pm today (Friday, 24th February) where Deputy Bacik will address the crowd on the invitation of the Ukrainian Ambassador, Deputy Bacik reiterated her demands for a renewed focus on efforts to support those fleeing the war here in Ireland.

Deputy Bacik said:

“The Labour Party stands in full solidarity with the people of Ukraine following the brutal and unprovoked Russian invasion. One year on, we continue to receive horrific, unthinkable news of the acts of aggression and brutal acts of warfare committed by Putin’s regime. Russia has displaced entire communities, destroyed their homes, and continues to put lives at risk. It is completely unacceptable.

“We have to pay tribute to the immense courage and resilience of the Ukrainian people. Today, we remember the lives lost, their family, friends and communities. We stand with the people of Ukraine and we are reiterating our calls to the Irish Government to continue to condemn this horrific war, and double down on our efforts to support those fleeing Putin here in Ireland.

“While we in the Labour Party have welcomed the rounds of EU sanctions and welcomed the expulsion by the Government last year of four diplomatic staff from the Russian embassy, we believe stronger measures need to be taken.

“Indeed, President Zelenskyy in his address to the Oireachtas last year called on us to do that and told us our leadership can make a difference. I am renewing my call today for the expulsion of the Russian ambassador from Ireland as he continues to mount brazen denials of the truth of what is happening in Ukraine and what his government is doing to the people of Ukraine.

“Putin has shown that he wants to wipe Ukraine off the map. He wants to abolish Ukraine’s culture and its history. He must fail and he will fail. We are a militarily neutral country, and we are very proud in the Labour Party of defending our military neutrality, but we must not and cannot be politically neutral in the face of this brutal aggression from the Russian leadership.

“Ireland should be proud at the immense solidarity and generosity communities have shown in welcoming the 77,000 Ukrainian refugees who have come to our shores. The Government needs to show a more co-ordinated approach in meeting the needs of refugees in the communities that are welcoming them. We need a strong public information campaign.

“We stand with Ukraine. We stand with Ukraine in Ireland. Slava Ukraini.”

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