I’m back in a town in northern England, and I want to tell you my impressions. I’ve mostly returned to normal but I’m still thinking nonstop about Ukraine and how to help her. Perhaps I’m crazy; many would say I was always so. What I can tell you is that amidst the genteel lifestyle and the cups of tea and the warm beer in the pubs and the yobs crawling round the local bars and all the rest, people here still remember Ukraine. Here in northern England they still remember there’s an existential crisis to the European peace and order even though the news reels are now full of Israel and Gaza and Hamas. I don’t want to downplay the significance of that crisis but I do want to point out that the heroic Ukrainian resistance of the Russian invasion of European territory is ongoing and it is at a critical point. The people of the town where I am spending my Christmas understand that the struggle for Ukraine goes on and they support Ukraine wholeheartedly and without hesitation and I believe that is true for everyone throughout the West. However people here from the limited conversations I have had with them so far have not come to understand the depth of the crisis right now, this winter.
Soldiers are starving or emaciated who are serving on the Ukrainian front line. Soldiers are freezing because they don’t have warm hats or gloves or socks or blankets or boots or anything else that a modern army needs to resist the world’s biggest land invasion since 1945. The Russians are well dug in and the Ukrainians have perhaps 500,000 troops on the front line plus another 200,000 in non-front line positions but the 2023 / 2024 winter season involves far more live fire than it did last year. More soldiers are dying not just from injuries but from emaciation and from freezing temperatures. Ukrainian President Zelenskiy has received requests from his military commanders to call up another 500,000 soldiers for front line activities in order to resist the continuing Russian onslaught but the problem with this plan is that the infrastructure and logistics aren’t there to support even the soldiers currently on the front line, never mind a massive new influx of soldiers that might be called up if the requests of Ukrainian military commanders are heeded. In the meantime requests for further military-financial aid are stalled in the US Congress but not I think forever.
These Ukrainians soldiers are risking their lives and suffering and dying to protect our liberties. I want to emphasise that. They are not just fighting for Ukraine but for our western way of life and to secure the West against Russian aggression as an imperial power. Because if Russia is not stopped here and now then she will present a threat against Finland and the Baltic States and Poland and Romania and who knows where else. To emphasise and repeat something I have said before: there is no negotiating with Russia, this Russia under Vladimir Putin, because for him international law means nothing and it’s just a question of how powerful your army is and how strong the resolve of your opponent is and you can negotiate anything you want but it will be torn up in six weeks or six months or six years, as soon as Russia has consolidated her position with the territory improperly and unlawfully acquired through military aggression and then we will be doing this all over again. So we must stop Russia now, and that means more sacrifices by us in the West, more contributions, more commitments, to protect this peaceful and prosperous way of life we have engendered through the institutions of Euro-Atlantic protection and each and every one of us must now fight and struggle and contribute to maintain the way of life we so cherish. Hence we must not just read about what is going on in the newspapers but we must each and every one of us act now.
You are probably wondering how you can help because everyone seems to understand that there is a crisis on Europe’s eastern front but you as an individual probably don’t know what you can do to help. That’s why I have been busy in the recent days founding and building and advertising the Ukraine Development Trust, the details of which can be found on the website of the Foundation for Development, www.development-foundation.org, which creates a funding and support portal for those people working amongst the international volunteer community inside Ukraine. Through my time in Ukraine I have come to understand which individuals and organisations are making a real contribution to Ukraine’s civilian and military necessities within Ukraine, and I want to help people who want to help to learn and understand how to devote their energies in the most efficient and profitable way.
You can send money to the Trust, and we will distribute it either in accordance with your wishes and preferences or you can leave it to our discretion. You can ask us for advice on how to send funds or other support to specific organisations based in Ukraine. You can ask for advice on how to volunteer in Ukraine and you can ask us how this can be done safely and with least discomfort. In short, we are providing a portal for support for people who understand the magnitude of the crisis facing Ukraine this winter and beyond and you can contact us if you want to help. If you can offer man-hours helping us developing the website or our social media presence, that sort of assistance is also hugely appreciated. If you can tell your friends, family and colleagues of what we are doing to try to support Ukraine and if you can encourage people to assist, then please do that.
In short, please spread the word in every conceivable way you can think of. And please remember that the conflict in Ukraine is not some abstract thing you hear a bit less about on the television than you used to. It’s a real, horrific, horrendous, nightmarish threat to our values, our liberties and our lifestyles and it’s right on the doorstep of Europe. It requires the attention of each and every one of us and it requires it now, because otherwise we are going to see the privileges and luxuries of life in the West that we have come to take for granted progressively eroded as the imperial Russian menace waits us out and then advances further across Europe, relentlessly, until finally we are forced to take a stance. Please act now and do everything you can to help, before it is too late.