UPDATE: We are in a period of learning how best to deploy our resources so that we are having the greatest impact when it comes to responding to the crisis of displacement created by Russia’s horrific attack on Ukraine. We are in the process of solidifying a number of relationships in the region to better support those who have been displaced by the violence. In the coming weeks, we will provide an update on our new partnerships and approach to serving and supporting the people of Ukraine as they seek peace and stability. To make a contribution, visit our donation page.
Cambridge, MA—In response to Russian president Vladimir Putin’s declaration of war against Ukraine on February 23, UUSC’s president Rev. Mary Katherine Morn issued the following response:
“The world is united in outrage at this act of aggression against the sovereign territory of an independent country. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine breaks international law and risks plunging Europe into the most deadly war the continent has seen in decades. As people concerned with the humanitarian impact of any aggression or militarism, we condemn this criminal act. For the same reason, we call on the U.S. and other Western powers to respect the rights and safety of people on all sides of the conflict. They must refrain from any actions in response to Putin’s aggression—whether military or economic—that would violate human rights.
“UUSC is a human rights organization with more than 80 years of work in solidarity with people who have experienced displacement. We know that a further escalation of war in Ukraine will only worsen the global refugee crisis in which more than 80 million people worldwide have already been displaced from their homes. Ukraine is currently home to more than a million asylum-seekers and internally-displaced people, many of whom could now be forced to flee for a second time as a result of Putin’s incursion.
“As human rights advocates based in the United States condemning this latest escalation of the conflict, we hope this moment might also serve as an opportunity for all of us and our leaders to reflect on our own history of similar acts of aggression and militarism. UUSC partners in Central America and Haiti, among many others, have suffered directly—and for decades—from the U.S. government’s neo-colonial interference and violation of the sovereignty of our neighbors. As a matter of fact, currently, the United States is enthusiastically supporting a Haitian leader who is actively working to dismantle the nation’s constitutional democracy and keep himself in power to the detriment of thousands of Haitian people who have been victimized and displaced.
“All powerful states must be held accountable to the principles of human rights. UUSC will monitor the situation in Ukraine closely and will share resources as they become available for those seeking to help people affected by the crisis.
“In the meantime, we join our prayers to those of people around the globe, who cry out in this moment—we demand peace; we demand an end to the bloodshed; we demand respect for human rights!”
In addition, the following groups are also providing needed support:
- The Ukrainian Humanitarian Fund
- Ukrainian People With Disabilities in Crisis
- Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine
- Voices of Children
Image Credit—iStock: Grafissimo