Urgent edition of The Call
Emily Writes Weekly
Welcome to The Call the newsletter within a newsletter. The Call aims to help us direct our energy and actions to places in need. It asks us to do as much as we can to help others.
This edition will focus on supporting the people of Ukraine and the Ukrainian community as a matter of urgency.
This suggestion for action has been put together by members of the Ukrainian community in New Zealand and overseas. I thank them for this mahi and send my love and solidarity, as I know you do too.
The Ukrainian community is asking us to do the following (I have only added email addresses and links to articles for further reading - Emily):
Please call or write to your MP and other elected officials including Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Email for Hon Nanaia Mahuta is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please call or write to your elected officials to demand that New Zealand should resolutely join the international community in imposing swift and severe sanctions against Putin’s regime.
Tell them that peaceful Ukrainian cities are being constantly shelled, ordinary people, women and children are being killed or are hiding in the bomb shelters in almost every city of Ukraine. The Ukrainian army has been standing firm and fiercely fighting against the second strongest army in the world.
We do not know for how long they can stand, but be sure that after eliminating independent Ukraine, Russia will not stop as all the redlines and psychological barriers have been crossed. The victory of the West is possible only through stopping Russia in Ukraine, stopping Putin in Ukraine. If Ukraine fails, thousands of lives will be lost, and before you know it, the devastating effect of breaking the established world order that kept the West at peace for the last 75 years will be felt in every backyard.
Democratic and free Ukraine is fighting not just for its own existence against the dictatorial ambitions of an international war criminal. It fights for every one of us.
Ukraine needs help.
Urge your MPs to consider the following:
1. Ukraine needs weapons.
Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, and dozens of other cities around Ukraine were hit by hundreds of missile strikes since Thursday, the beginning of Russia’s invasion. Moscow rejected talks as it vowed to topple Ukraine's government. However, the Ukrainian army showed inordinate resilience and preparedness to defend their land and protect their citizens, inspiring the rest of the world by their determination and sacrifice. But they need immediate and continued help. Because this young democratic society fights a much bigger war against global authoritarianism and despotism.
2. Ukraine needs financial and humanitarian assistance.
Large cities of Ukraine are encircled by advancing Russian troops, which count at about 100,000 as of Saturday. The supplies of food, water, and medicines for civilians are running dangerously low and we need to act now to avoid a massive humanitarian crisis.
3. Ukraine needs governments around the world to impose strong sanctions against Russia.
Unfortunately, the recent package of sanctions are not sufficient to stop invasion. Some governments have chosen extra money and welfare instead of values and human lives.
New Zealand must not only join the international community in imposing devastating coordinated sanctions against Russia, but also resolve to follow through the policy of freezing and confiscating the assets and property of Russian oligarchs in our country and within our financial system, even if it means temporary economic inconvenience.
Financial players have a role too. Russia must be cut off SWIFT. Russian equities should be excluded from MSCI. Russian bonds should be excluded from key J.P. Morgan fixed income benchmarks. Rating agencies (S&P Global Ratings, Moody's Corporation and Fitch Ratings) need to drop the Russian sovereign ceiling to CCC/Caa2. And Western institutional investors should not hold Russian assets in their portfolios. The New Zealand government should do whatever is in their power to encourage these actions.
Emily’s suggestions for further reading:
Charities to support:
Please do not donate to well-known, relatively established and rich international charities. Not only they cannot reach Ukraine right now (all their staff were evacuated), but also the majority of your money may go towards inflated salaries of their staff and offices and very little would trickle down to Ukraine itself.
Here is a list of known, well-established Ukrainian charities that do work directly in Ukraine right now and have been established in response to the beginning of war that Russia started in Ukraine eight years ago and that has already claimed the lives of 14,000 military and civilians before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine started last week. They are tested to work in the conditions of military conflict and are internationally known.