A full-scale war in the middle of Europe during the 21st century has become a shocking event to the world. For some time, politicians of various countries were numb as they struggled to comprehend the situation — they were afraid of Russia and weren’t decisive enough to help Ukraine. But when the global community saw the resistance of Ukrainians and observed the crimes of the Russian army, many nations started to help Ukraine — first providing defensive weapons, and then adding offensive ones to the list. Certain pro-Russian politicians express concerns that intensification of weapon supply may provoke Putin and his army into even more aggressive actions. Unlike no one else, Ukrainians realise and try to prove to the rest of the world that to bring peace (which is impossible without Ukraine’s victory) they need more heavy weapons.
At least 50 countries have supported the Ukrainian army since February 24, 2022, including Australia, Belgium, Great Britain, Greece, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Germany, Norway, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, USA, Turkey, Finland, France, Croatia, Czech Republic, Sweden, and Japan. Although the leaders of some countries initially hesitated about military support, they changed their minds after visiting Ukraine and witnessing the consequences of Russian military crimes. Despite this, according to Denys Sharapov, Deputy Defence Minister of Ukraine, as of June 17, military support from international partners covers approximately 10-15% of the Ukrainian army’s real needs.
Liberating Ukrainian land from invaders. Who is against it?
There is a point of view expressed by various media around the world that Ukraine is too militarised already, therefore making Putin even angrier.
That is why the government of Hungary, for example, has no plans to join the rest of the European countries in supplying weapons to Ukraine. The reason for this decision is that the Hungarian government is afraid that military support will cause the shelling of Hungarians who live in Zakarpattia. American political scientist Rajan Menon predicted disastrous consequences of supporting Ukraine in his fateful Guardian article in April, alleging Russia will increase its aggression. In this case, the number of victims among the Ukrainian population will grow, the flow of refugees will also increase, and “the United States and its allies may face unexpected countermoves from Russia”.
Some Europeans are concerned that war has caused raising prices for energy carriers, while others suggest that Ukrainians should sit at the bargaining table and cede Ukrainian territory to rapidly end the war and reach peace. However, those “pacifists” overlook the main causes of war: Russian imperial ambitions and their desire to seize as many colonies as possible.
Many are willing to donate but only for humanitarian needs, as they fear militarisation of the world — European feminists express this position, while Ukrainian ones call it ignoring the reality of the objective and the privilege of remaining neutral.
There is also a problem with international charitable funds — the money transferred does not always reach the recipients on time. A review by Humanitarian Outcomes (the organisation that helps improve the work of humanitarian missions globally by involving scientists, technology, and innovations) shows that people from around the world have donated approximately 2.15 billion pounds sterling to international organisations (UNICEF, International Committee of Red Cross etc.) for humanitarian aid in Ukraine since February, but as of May, Ukraine has not received 85% of this sum. The organisation explains that it is caused by the inner bureaucracy and abnormality of the situation. At the same time, local organisations cover a large portion of humanitarian needs in Ukraine, and most of them are constantly reporting on their expenditures. For example, since February 24, the ICRC has helped more than 4 million Ukrainians, while the charitable fund “Voices of children” helped 6200 displaced persons with food kits in June. The information platform Support Ukraine Now arranged a list of organisations and funds which help Ukraine in various ways.
Myths about military help to Ukraine
Quite often the arguments used by the opponents of military help to Ukraine are myths. Let’s check how many of them withstand logical scrutiny.
“Intensification of military help to Ukraine will make Putin and his army angrier and cause even more violence!”
This is the thesis of Russian propaganda, which tries to intimidate the world and force countries not to supply Ukraine with weapons. In reality, military support of Ukraine’s army will help to save the lives of civilians — a well-equipped battalion can defend a settlement so that its residents won’t have to flee, seek shelter, and receive humanitarian aid. Even more weapons are needed to liberate the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories so residents can return home.
The only weapon that causes more violence is a Russian one. It has been repeatedly proven that Russian troops commit crimes and terrorist attacks against Ukrainians without any reason.
“Putin may use nuclear weapons. We have to satisfy his demands and solve this problem by negotiations”.
As history has shown, an appeasement policy does not work. Russians ignore international legislation and do not adhere to the arrangements they have made. Russia occupied part of the Ukrainian territories in 2014, undermined negotiation, and consistently violated international law, namely the Budapest memorandum. Having signed that negotiation in 1994, Russia assumed the obligation to become the guarantor of Ukraine’s security. The last 30 years show that Russia can hardly exist without the wars it provoked. It only makes agreements to weaken the enemy and does not try to resolve the conflict.
Russia loves blackmailing the world by threatening to cut off energy supply, stop the export of food, start a migration crisis, and now use nuclear weapons.
As soon as the US and their allies publicly announced the consequences which Russia will face should Putin decide to use his nuclear weapons, the Kremlin became quiet.
“We should not supply weapons if we want to avoid World War III”.
Now Ukraine is fighting for the security of the world, Europe in particular, as the expansive ambitions of Russians are limitless. Russia threatens Poland to “neutralise the potential threats” if the latter increases the presence of NATO troops. It also warns Finland and Sweden that they might become Russian military targets if they join the North Atlantic Alliance. The Kremlin threatens Lithuania and is prepared to “protect” the interests of Russians in Moldova, ignoring other countries’ sovereignty and opposing itself to the civilised world. Taking into account the hybrid nature of modern wars, Russians attempt to destabilise countries long before going into open military conflict by provoking energy crises, using propaganda messages, attempting to rig democratic elections, and so on.
Helping Ukraine by providing weapons, the other countries preserve their domestic security and save the lives of their military and civilians.
“This is a local war, it has no impact on the rest of the world”.
The consequences of Russia’s expansion can already be felt — the world experiences a global food crisis, caused by the Russian blockade of Ukrainian sea ports. The countries which heavily rely on the grain imports cannot get it because Russia stole Ukrainian grain deposits from the occupied territories, mined the areas of the Black Sea, and keeps threatening all vessels in those waters with its naval fleet. Heavy weapons will help Ukraine to free the occupied territories (including farm fields) and restore access to sea ports.
“Ukrainians lack expertise to be able to use foreign-made weapons”.
The Ukrainian army refuses Soviet weapons and equipment and switches to NATO models, as noted by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, back in April. Moreover, Ukrainian troops should receive the weapons as soon as possible to counter-attack and liberate the occupied territories, ultimately ending the war. To cover the urgent military needs Ukrainian soldiers can use Soviet equipment that remained in many European countries (according to Wall Street Journal, Great Britain purchases such weapons for Ukraine from Bulgaria and Slovakia).
The Ukrainian army is highly motivated and proved that its military can learn quicker than anticipated. This was highlighted by Lieutenant General Frederick Ben Hodges, a former commander of the United States Army Europe. There are cases when Ukrainian military personnel learn the weapon operation principles independently, without any support or guidance. Even before the start of the full-scale invasion, Ukraine’s Armed Forces had adopted over 300 NATO standards.
NATO standardsThe regulations of the North Atlantic Alliance (a total of about 1200) that maintain the required levels of compatibility and interchangeability needed to achieve interoperability.
How to help the Ukrainian army
Believing in the Ukrainian army is important, but victory requires direct action, namely military support. Fortunately, everyone can contribute to that. Lithuanians raised 5 million euros in three days to purchase Bayraktar VTOL for the Ukrainian army. They have inspired Polens, who have been raising funds for an unmanned aerial vehicle for Ukrainians since June 28, 2022. Even small donations bring us closer to victory.
– Join the flashmob ArmUkraineNow. Movement founders consider that it is important to remind the governments of various countries to supply the Ukrainian army with weapons. The initiative also helps to keep focus on the war in Ukraine and to remember that Ukranians continually need support. To participate, post a photo with the hashtag #ArmUkraineNow.
– SaveUAlist is an initiative that has collected responses to common questions about weapons for Ukraine and comments of international experts and Ukrainian politicians. Use it to check out the needs of Ukraine and don’t forget to share it with friends.
– Join demonstrations to call on your government to support Ukraine.
– Send donations to a special fundraising account of the National Bank of Ukraine to support the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
– Share posts about media campaigns, fundraise for the needs of the Ukrainian army on social media, and tell your friends why it is important to support Ukraine’s army.
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