- Lifestyle & Sports
- 01 Mar 22
The civilian death toll has increased significantly in the past two days since Russia began its bombardment, with Ukrainian authorities reporting 352 civilian deaths since the start of the invasion, including 14 children.
President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, has called on Russia to halt the unjustified violence and withdraw troops from Russia in a new statement.
"These times, these events, however challenging are times for diplomacy, for multilateralism and for our international institutions," President Higgins wrote. "At times like these, it is essential that the peoples of the world come together and demand the peace that in the Charter of the United Nations was not only an alternative to war, but where our best hopes for humanity lie."
The President also noted yesterday's harrowing IPCC report, which warned that the planet is being destroyed at a faster pace than humanity is capable of stopping it.
"Now, as we hear reports of the perilous level to which the planet has come, in some aspects near irreversible, we must not allow ourselves to be mired in militarism," President Higgins added.
Referencing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Charter of the United Nations, the President urged military leaders to consider international law and the rights of citizens to peace.
Ukrainian army units and civilian defence forces have put up fierce resistance and have stalled the Russian onslaught on the ground for now, prompting Putin to launch an indiscriminate bombing campaign of Ukraine's two largest cities - Kyiv and Kharkiv. The civilian death toll is in the hundreds, if not thousands.
Current satellite images show a huge build-up of Russian armoured vehicles and artillery 25km north of Kyiv as the capital braces for an all-out assault.
European Council President Charles Michel said Russia is guilty of "geopolitical terrorism" by violating international law in its invasion of Ukraine.
As of today, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged the European Union to prove it sides with Ukraine in its war with Russia after signing an official request to join the bloc.
"The European Union is going to be much stronger with us, that's for sure. Without you, Ukraine is going to be alone," Mr Zelensky told the European Parliament by video link.
"Do prove that you are with us. Do prove that you will not let us go. Do prove that you are indeed Europeans and then life will win over death and light will win over darkness. Glory be to Ukraine."
Read today's statement from President Michael D. Higgins in full below:
“That we have returned to war, the abuse by the powerful of its neighbour, the flagrant violations of the principals of the United Nations, a great sense of darkness has fallen across the world at the unfolding tragedy in Ukraine.
The hearts of the Irish people go out to all of those who are suffering from this completely unacceptable, immoral and unjustified violence. Our television screens carry images of all those mothers and babies crossing borders in order to flee the mayhem which is being inflicted upon them by an invading powerful neighbour operating with total disregard for the principles of international law, and of those brave Ukrainian people struggling to defend their homes and country.
This violence must stop. Troops must be withdrawn by Russia. The rise of militarism must end. Full humanitarian access must be given to all civilians in need. Every glimmer of hope through diplomacy must be seized. Humanity had achieved one of its most significant axis of co-operation with the agreements on Climate Change, the Sustainable Development Goals. Now, as we hear reports of the perilous level to which the planet has come, in some aspects near irreversible, we must not allow ourselves to be mired in militarism.
I call on all those inflicting this violence to reflect on that great principle that is lodged in the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and its affirmation that “recognition of the inherent dignity, and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family, is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”.
These times, these events, however challenging are times for diplomacy, for multilateralism and for our international institutions. At times like these, it is essential that the peoples of the world come together and demand the peace that in the Charter of the United Nations was not only an alternative to war, but where our best hopes for humanity lie.
I call on everyone to use the tiny glimmers of hope which we have seen to bring this dreadful nightmare to an end and restore peace."
- Lifestyle & Sports
- 27 Jun 22
- Lifestyle & Sports
- 23 Jun 22