‘The hearts of the Irish people go out to all of those who are suffering’
PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins has exclaimed that the “violence must stop” in Ukraine as post offices waive fees for public donations to the Red Cross and UNICEF crisis appeals, reports Hayden Moore.
On February 24, President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, launched Russia into a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine in an escalation of the conflict that started eight-years-ago with the Revolution of Dignity.
Russian forces have bombed the cities of Ukraine, with the United Nations claiming that there are around one million internally displaced persons and 680,000 refugees as a result.
This week, the Irish Red Cross has advised people against sending emergency goods to Ukraine, as it can be difficult to get them into the country and distribute them considering the current circumstances.
Those who wish to make donations are being asked to do so through financial contributions for organisations working on the ground, such as UNICEF and Red Cross.
An Post and Postmasters have waived the fees normally payable for such transactions to UNICEF and Red Cross Ukrainian appeals.
An Post is making arrangements to set up current accounts and an address point service for displaced Ukrainian citizens who come to Ireland seeking refuge.
Any monies raised through donations will be used to repair infrastructure, support families with food and toiletries, and support health facilities with equipment and medicine.
“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,” President Michael D Higgins said in a statement on Tuesday.
“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 Troops must be withdrawn by Russia.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.”