On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a brutal, full-scale invasion against Ukraine, in violation of the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, two of the most basic and important founding principles of the United Nations.
It has been one year since the Russian Federation launched its full-scale invasion of its neighboring country. Effects of the humanitarian and economic disaster that Ukrainians suffer every day have spread beyond the borders of Ukraine, throughout Europe, and across the world, including as far as Uruguay. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is a serious challenge to the international rule-based system that underpins global peace, prosperity, and security. Since February 24, 2022, when Vladimir Putin chose to escalate this war against Ukraine with a full-scale invasion, the whole world has witnessed countless atrocities, including war crimes perpetrated by Russia’s forces. Russia’s bombs have hit hospitals, its missile strikes have killed civilians, and it has shelled civilian areas, established forced relocation, and violated human rights.
Russia continues to deploy disinformation campaigns to deceive its own people and manipulate public opinion, political reactions, and friendships outside of Russia’s borders.
Russia did not anticipate the courage, bravery, and stamina of the Ukrainian people, or their determination to remain free. Russia did not anticipate the immediate reaction and public condemnation of its actions by the vast majority of the international community. Russia did not anticipate that the independent press would report on the cruelty of Russia’s war crimes and the truth of Russia’s atrocities.
Putin thought that his full-scale invasion of Ukraine was going to be quick and easy, that there was no way for Russia’s neighbor could defend itself effectively from a large-scale attack. But Ukraine proved Putin wrong. Ukrainians continue to fight with great steadfastness for their independence, and their country continues to receive military and humanitarian support from around the world to defend its people and territories.
Russia did not expect democratic countries of the world to join their voices, to condemn so clearly the ongoing full-scale invasion violating internationally recognized borders. Russia did not anticipate the marches and demonstrations of solidarity in cities around the world, including by thousands of brave Russian citizens, nor did they expect the overwhelming amount of humanitarian and financial assistance and military equipment sent to Ukraine.
Today, 12 months after this unjustified, unprovoked, and illegal full-scale invasion, the diplomatic missions in Uruguay have signed this letter below, deciding not to look away from what continues to happen in Ukraine. We cannot bear seeing evidence of Ukrainian people struggling to survive the harsh winter without heating, electricity, and clean drinking water.
Russia’s war has increased food and energy insecurity, generating waves of instability, inflation, and uncertainty throughout the world. The war has also made it clear that we must defend the multilateral system, in which smaller countries have the same rights as larger ones. The undersigned countries have worked hand-in-hand with partners around the world to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to withstand Russia’s onslaught and to increase respect for the U.N. Charter. We applaud every country that has joined in solidarity with Ukraine in defense of its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The one-year mark of Russia’s unprovoked, unjustified full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which affects Europe and the rest of the globe, is a powerful reminder that the worst perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses must be held accountable and that there can be no impunity for war crimes and other atrocities. We ought to keep defending democracy, rule of law, and peace. If we do not, we will all suffer the consequences, minimizing our chances to live free in peace and prosperity.
We stand by Ukraine and condemn Russia’s actions, demand Russia to end the war immediately by ceasing its attacks against Ukraine, and completely and unconditionally withdraw its forces from Ukrainian territory. We also would like to stress the need to reach, as soon as possible, a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace, consistent with the principles of the United Nations Charter. We are determined to support all those who work peacefully for an inclusive and democratic future for the people of Ukraine. As our leaders repeatedly say, “We will continue to stand with the Ukrainian people for as long as it takes.”
The following diplomatic missions present in Uruguay subscribe to this statement: Canada, European Union, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Romania, Spain, United Kingdom, United States