Civilian conflict in Ukraine still not resolved


Appeal to the Members of Canadian Parliament on Minsk Accord– Seek Diplomatic Solution to the Conflict in Ukraine

February 12, 2016 marked one year since the Minsk Agreement on Ukraine crises was signed.

The conflict claimed thousands of lives, left tens of thousands injured, and more than a million seeking refuge, all as a result of brutal force used by the Ukrainian army against civilians of densely populated areas in eastern Ukraine. For over a year, the Ukrainian army has been launching indiscriminate attacks including artillery, tanks, rockets, and missiles which inflicted increasing casualties and caused damage to community infrastructure, administrative, social, and industrial buildings, including hospitals, schools, and orphanages. Furthermore, with the connivance of the Ukrainian authorities the ultra-radical paramilitary groups committed acts of violence, abductions, and destruction of private properties for the purpose of terrorizing the civilian population. The blockade of the Donbass region, as announced by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, put it on the brink of humanitarian catastrophe.

The one important achievement of the Minsk Agreement signed on February 12, 2015 was the suspension of a full-scale civil war. It dampened the severity of the conflict and resulted in giving people some breathing space and the opportunity to come out of shelters and return to their destroyed homes, to bury their family and community members and start over again. However, the cities and towns of Donbass continue to be sporadically shelled to this day.

The Ukrainian authorities have delayed in every way possible the full implementation of the clearly-defined points of the Minsk Agreement, in spite of the fact that the International community requested them to do so. As a matter of fact, both President Obama and Chancellor Merkel urged Ukraine to speed up the implementation of the Minsk Agreements last month.

On behalf of the Russian and Ukrainian Canadians, the Russian Congress of Canada calls on the Canadian government to become a proactive mediator and require the rapid fulfillment of the obligations taken by the Ukrainian authorities.

We are driven by pain and anxiety for our brotherly people. Many of us have families and friends who live in eastern Ukraine and we feel compelled to reflect their hardship. The Russian Congress of Canada is a multicultural organization that consists of several nationalities; therefore, we condemn those who are seeking to shun animosity between the Russian and Ukrainian ethnic communities in Canada, and also those who, by pursuing their own interests, are trying to change the traditional peacekeeping mission of Canada and force it to radicalize its foreign policy.

We sincerely hope that as a representative of all Canadians, including people of the Russian and Ukrainian descent, you will demonstrate your political wisdom and integrity, and make all efforts to promote the right course of action for Canada in the Ukraine crises.

Canada has a historic opportunity to apply its vast successful experience of peaceful coexistence because of its multiple constituent ethnic communities, and because for years Canadian government has deliberately chosen the role of a peacekeeping nation. Time and again Canadian government needs to show its true leadership and put pressure on Kiev in order for them to adopt a diplomatic solution to the conflict, because the only alternative to diplomacy is the war that will take thousands more human lives.