Take part in rallies, vigils, demonstrations against this war mania!

This morning, Vladimir Putin launched the long-planned attack on the whole of Ukraine. We are deeply outraged and appalled at the way in which an autocrat obsessed with great power fantasies is imposing its violence on an entire country, Europe and the world. Now we must all defend the Ukrainians and Ukraine – but also the peace and freedom of Europe.

Ukrainians are fighting for a return to peace, for their lives, their future and the right to go their own way. They are also fighting for us and for a free Europe. Many in Germany have been appeased for more than 20 years, although Vladimir Putin's goal has always been recognizable and has long produced massive and systematic violence and lawlessness in the domestic and foreign policies of the Russian leadership.

The DRA has often warned of the foreseeable, increasingly clear radicalization.

The Ukrainians have been living in a constant war for eight years, there has never been peace since March 2014, at most a temporary fragile ceasefire. Now they are being torn from their everyday lives, their families, professions, hopes, and many of them are threatened with death.

They must be able to defend themselves against the military – secret service machine that Putin and the Kremlin have set up against them, and they must be supported in their self-defence.

Ukraine now needs every form of assistance. This also means that we create publicity, continuously report on what is actually happening, undermine the propaganda of the war and make visible what this all means for the people affected.

We will have to provide humanitarian aid, donate, take in refugees and, last but not least, document the crimes that are happening now for later processing. Ukraine needs to be financially stabilised. It has already lost many billions of euros due to the constant escalation in recent months alone. And the financial foundations of the war economy of the Kremlin and those responsible for it must finally be more seriously hit.

Across Europe, there is now a need for a united civil society that forces the governments of their countries to translate solidarity with Ukraine into action and stop the invasion of Russian troops. A new peace movement is needed.

We constantly think of our many friends, colleagues and partners, not least those of the DRA in eastern Ukraine. We are in ongoing contact and will help with all forces that we can mobilize in any way.

Yes, there are people in Russia who publicly welcome the "recognition" of the alleged "people's republics" Donetsk and Luhansk created by the Kremlin. But in Russia too, many people are against the war. Most of them are still silent, but we know how this society has been weakened with years of progressive disenfranchisement.

We reach out to these people: the Kremlin is not Russia.

Solidarity with Ukraine, solidarity in the fight for peace and democracy in all countries,

Solidarity of European civil society is the order of the day.

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