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Ukraine 2024

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embattled city of Kharkiv, in Eastern Ukraine and who are now resident in East Kent while their grandmother is still living in Kharkiv. I therefore declare that I have a dog in this fight! 

Hindsight in politics is a wonderful thing.  Had Europe and the United States taken a stronger line when Putin annexed Crimea in 2014 and the Russians not been re-admitted to the Council of Europe, in spite of the votes of the British and the Baltic States, then the invasion of Ukraine might not have taken place.  Instead, and by sending out all of the wrong signals to a man who only understands strength we probably played our part in stimulating the invasion of a country part of which in the east had effectively been at war, since 2014. 

The stark fact is that the freedom and democracy not just of Ukraine but of the civilised world are on the line and President Zelensky is engages in a conflict that impacts upon all of us. 

At a terrible cost in `blood and treasure` and the destruction of whole towns and villages Ukrainian soldiers are holding the line courageously, but they need more help - and fast.   

It is a matter of record that I am no fan of Boris Johnson but as Prime Minister he pledged the UK`s backing and mobilised European politicians in support of Ukraine at the start of the war. Rishi Sunak has maintained that support, but some other European countries have blown hot and cold in the supply of military aid which has often been too little and too late. 

Most shameful of all has been the posturing of the Republican Party, an organisation with which I once associated myself, in the United States.  By delaying vital l military supplies and funding for months for wholly parochial and less than honourable reasons what used to be known as `The Grand Old Party ` has placed the Ukrainian war effort in some jeopardy.

If Putin is allowed to succeed in his illegal war it will not stop there. Georgia, part of which is already under Russian occupation, will fall next and Moldova ill then follow.  Then Putin`s attention will turn towards one of the Baltic States, Lithuania, Estonia or Latvia, that are all members of NATO. And if a NATO country is attacked then we are at war with Russia and, by proxy, with China also. 

That is not something that most people in Europe or even in the United States would wish to have to contemplate. 

Slava Ukraini.

In 1968 Soviet tanks rolled into the then Czechoslovakia and crushed the modest liberalising reforms introduced in the `Prague Spring by the President, Alexander Dubcek. That precipitated my active involvement in politics.  I took part in and addressed a gathering of some 50,000 people in London and I swore then that while I had breath in my body no child or grandchild of mine would ever grow up under communism. 
Now, in addition to my own family, I have two `grandchildren` who are refugees from the

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