Category: Europe, World

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Foreign Secretaries since 2016: has the UK been well-served?

Richard Haviland

The position of Foreign Secretary is one of the Great Offices of State. It requires tact, command of a brief, outstanding communication skills, and a real interest in the wider world. Here’s a look at recent incumbents, picking a random starting point of June 2016. In January 2017, Boris Johnson accused the then French president […]

Victory in Europe Day and the creation of the EU

Jon Danzig

Today is Victory in Europe Day to commemorate the end of the Second World War in Europe, 77 years ago, on 8 May 1945. What has VE Day to do with the European Union? Everything. The European Economic Community – later to be called the European Union – was started in the aftermath of the […]

Ukraine diary – volume II

Gordon Dingwall
Humanitarian aid identifier on side of vehicle

Wednesday 27 April Graham and Bear arrived at the border early this morning, after they’d driven though the night. After a little rest in the house we are staying in, the load they had brought with them brought was shared out amongst us medics at the border and a contact in the international battalion of […]

Ukraine diary: reports from Poland and Ukraine. Latest news!

Editor-in-chief
Ukrainian flag

The partner of one of our readers has gone to Poland to help with the effort to rescue refugees from Ukraine. He’s a field/trauma medic with extensive experience having served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He had intended to go straight into Ukraine to join extraction efforts, but the attack on the Ukraine military base has […]

Nationalism and neo-Nazism in Ukraine: debunking the Russian propaganda

Mariam Naiem
Ukrainian sunflowers

As a Russian-speaking person of colour who was born and raised in Ukraine, I believe that I am in a position to speak on the issue of nationalism and neo-Nazism in Ukraine. To talk about Ukrainian nationalism, we first have to establish the context of the relationship between Ukraine and Russia. These are not just […]

What the Putins of this world want

Andrew Levi
Putin as a young man and now.

If we continue to delude ourselves about Putin’s agenda, we will reap the whirlwind. Andrew Levi explains why we have to face up to what drives Putin in this hard-hitting article. Clueless in Europe’s Chancelleries You’ve probably never heard of Lars Klingbeil. If you have, you know more about German politics than most. He’s a […]

Time to waive the visas – and revisit the Nationality and Borders Bill

Tom Scott
Waive the visas campaign image

Insistence on complex visa requirements is in stark contrast to the outpouring of empathy for Ukrainian refugees by people in Britain. A government that promised it would cut ‘red tape’ is now using bureaucracy in the cruellest of ways, writes Tom Scott. When I was growing up in the 1960s, films and TV series set […]

Ukraine diaries: Lollet (96) and Una (79) – their story

Gordon Dingwall
Bombed building Mariupol

Yesterday (Wednesday 30 March) was an incredibly emotionally difficult day for me. My work partner and I were tasked to go to Lviv and extract two elderly people. We arrived in good time, without having to go through as many military road blocks. We checked into the aid centre and awaited our passengers. They were […]

Standing with Ukraine

Lucy-Ann Pope
Pro Ukraine banner

I first heard late on Tuesday about the call from the European Movement (EM), for their members and local groups to come to the ‘London stands with Ukraine’ rally and march on Saturday 26 March. They had joined with London mayor Sadiq Khan, who’d asked Londoners to stand in solidarity with Ukraine. Could I attend […]

The European Movement must dare to speak about the European Union

Colin Gordon
Crowds at Ukraine protest

Online here European Movement CEO, Anna Bird, addresses UK with Ukraine rally in London. – YouTubeand reproduced below, more or less as delivered, is the text of Anna Bird’s speech at the London Mayor’s ‘vigil for Ukraine’ in Trafalgar Square on Saturday. It is excellent that European Movement UK (EM-UK) was involved in organising this […]

Truth trumps Brexit

Jon Danzig
Liz Truss

Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, has told Tory-supporting The Telegraph (£): “We’ve had our differences with the EU, but now we must stick together against Vladimir Putin” She added, “Disagreements over the Northern Ireland Protocol pale in significance to the fight for freedom and democracy.” While reiterating her determination to “fix” the Northern Ireland Protocol agreed […]

Sponsor a Ukrainian – the scheme that puts the vulnerable at risk whilst thwarting compassion

Elizabeth Smith and Anna Andrews
Ukrainian refugees in Krakow

“It’s an abusers’ charter, isn’t it?” said a friend – a woman not particularly attentive to the doings of this government, nor as prejudiced as me against these Conservatives’ policies. Sadly, I think my friend is correct in her assessment of the ‘Sponsor a Ukrainian’ scheme, whereby homeowners here can offer accommodation to Ukrainian refugees. […]

War diary: a personal account from southern Ukraine

Julia Savva
Mural in Ukraine from 2014 conflict

Usually in this notebook, my favourite one, with coffee on the cover, I write fairy tales. However, a new tale about adorable, winged cats has been paused uncompleted. Now I am writing about the war. To this day we all think it’s a dream. A nightmare that is about to pass, you just have to […]

What are Russians thinking about Putin’s war, and why?

Tom Scott
Putin's eyes

“They slaughter and maim tens of thousands of men, and then they say prayers of thanksgiving for having slaughtered so many people (inflating the numbers) and proclaim victory, supposing that the more people slaughtered, the greater the merit. How does God look down and listen to them!“Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace Almost exactly 33 years […]

Wartime haulage: the unsung heroes of the Ukrainian nation

Filip Bednarkiewicz
Ukrainian truck

Polish journalist and lorry-driver Tomasz Oryński translated this short piece about Ukrainian truckers who are still going into the war zone with humanitarian help. Originally written for a Polish trucking magazine, we are very glad to be able to publish Filip’s piece here. It carries this important message: “By the way, as I was talking […]

From Frome to the front line

Richard Paul-Jones
Polish currency

“We don’t need stuff, we need cash” says the Mayor of Rabka Frome has a direct link to the war in Ukraine – and a way for you to help Ukrainians fleeing from the terror. Frome is twinned with three European towns. It is a four-way twinning, with representatives of three towns each visiting the fourth on […]

Ukraine: hypocrisy, gaslighting and delays from the UK government

Editor-in-chief

You will have heard every minister interviewed in the media or standing up in parliament claim that we are doing more than any other country, that we are at the forefront doing everything we can for refugees, that we are leading the world in standing up to Putin and his horrific, illegal war. We aren’t…and […]

Cornwall stands with Ukraine

Tom Scott
Stand with Ukraine vigil, Truro

Speech made at the Vigil for Ukraine outside Truro Cathedral on 27 February. Thank you all so much for coming here today to express your solidarity with the people of Ukraine. These are very dark times for Europe and for the whole world. We’re seeing a peaceful, democratic nation under violent attack by a fascistic […]

Helping Ukrainians fleeing war – or not. How do you define a family?

Sadie Parker
Meme of Johnson between two Raphael cherubs s

Many of us were inspired and heartened when Poland threw open its borders to Ukrainians fleeing the war on February 25, only 24 hours after the present phase of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began. (We say “the present phase”, because Russia has been attacking Ukraine’s territorial integrity since 2014, with the annexation of the Republic […]