Emmaus International

Since the early hours of this morning, Ukraine has suffered several attacks by the Russian army, leaving the population facing an extremely serious situation, which could have repercussions throughout Europe and the world.

In 2014, following a popular movement that led to the fall of the Ukrainian government, separatist forces in two of the country’s regions declared their independence, with Russian support. This situation, which was not recognised by the international community, continued until a few weeks ago, when Russia began to amass troops along its borders with Ukraine, despite the fact that a diplomatic process had been initiated following Russia's opposition to the possible expansion of NATO to Ukraine. After unilaterally declaring its recognition of the independence of the two regions in question, Russia once again violated international law on Thursday 24 February by launching large-scale military operations.

Two Emmaus groups are present in this country: a member group, Oselya, based in Lviv, and a trial member group, Nasha-Khata, in Drohobych. Both groups are based in western Ukraine, currently still outside the main conflict zone, however Russia has already invaded some areas and bombings have struck different parts of the country. The entire Ukrainian territory is now engulfed in war.

Emmaus International condemns the use of such force and the violence that has already taken place against the civilian population. Our movement, and its founder, Abbé Pierre, have always worked for peace. A military escalation must be avoided at all costs, as it would pose a threat to Europe's stability.

We express our full solidarity with all the Ukrainian people, and particularly our friends and companions in the groups in Ukraine. We call on European countries to stand in full solidarity with those who have already been displaced due to this conflict. The borders must remain open to allow the population to seek shelter.

Together with Emmaus Europe, we are keeping a close eye on the situation of our groups in the country and in neighbouring countries, and we will keep the movement informed of any developments and support required.

photo: Andriy Baranskyy