British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the formation of the “International Ukraine Support Group” last March 7 in partnership with the Netherlands and Canada. The initiative aims to bring together global support to ensure robust economic, political, defensive, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

“This coalition [International Ukraine Support Group] will allow countries to “coordinate the efforts of the international community to provide long-term and unwavering assistance, now and in the future,” said Johnson in a press conference.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (L), British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (C), and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte during a press conference announcing the creation of the International Ukraine Support Group (Justin Trudeau Facebook Page)

The trio intends to expand its capabilities through encouraging more nations, particularly their existing partners, to join the cause. “This is the moment for Ukraine’s friends to create a coalition of humanitarian, economic, and defensive military support to ensure that Putin fails,” he added.

Last week, the emergency meetings of the United Nations General Assembly concluded with a historical 141 votes in favor of a resolution which deplored the Russian invasion of Ukraine, reiterated the sovereignty of the said country, and demanded that Russia “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.”

That same week, the world saw the largest referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in history, which allowed the immediate start of investigations on alleged war crimes Russia has committed in Ukraine.

Note that photographic and video evidence, verified by independent news sources, show that Russia has been targeting civilian populations, evacuees, and residential infrastructure to further their cause. They have also been accused of using cluster munitions and thermobaric weapons in their campaign. These weapons have been largely banned from warfare due to thermobaric weapons’ stronger firepower than traditional bombs (as it sucks in oxygen to create a more powerful explosion) and cluster munitions’ ability to spread submunitions over a wide area.

“The whole world is now coming together to try to help avert a total catastrophe in Ukraine. It’s already very, very grim indeed. We’re doing everything in our power to prevent it from getting worse, and one of the most important things is to look after people fleeing the war zone. And all of us, in our different ways, are doing a lot,” he said.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, The invasion of Russia has caused the largest refugee crisis in recent history, with over 2.3 million people forced to flee Ukraine in search of safety.

“It is crucial that this is not only NATO [and the] European Union working together, but that this is the whole world coming together to defend the basic values and the international legal order as it has been established after the Second World War, which is now being challenged … We have to bring together Africa, Latin America, Asia — everyone who wants to be part of humanity to be part of such a humanitarian coalition,” said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Joint Statement on the Invasion of Ukraine

The International Ukraine Support Group made a joint statement on March 7 condemning Russia’s war on Ukraine. The three countries UK, Canada, and the Netherlands, called the invasion “unprovoked and brutal,” describing it as an “attack on a democratic and sovereign European nation.” Furthermore, they reiterated the conclusion made by the UN General Assembly, calling Russia’s actions a violation of international law and the UN Charter.

The countries claim that they have seen the “extensive and indiscriminate use of force against civilians” and are committed to ensuring the success of investigations and the gathering of evidence.

We will continue to stand strong in supporting Ukraine and applaud the heroism and strength of Ukraine’s resistance led by President Zelensky. Together we have committed significant economic and humanitarian assistance.”

The three countries have been at the forefront of answering Ukraine’s call for assistance, including supplying the country with military equipment and imposing sanctions against Russia.

Britain to send more aid to Ukraine

The United Kingdom has become one of the largest bilateral donors to Ukraine. Johnson announced that Britain would be giving £175 million ($230 million) for further aid to Ukraine and that $100 million of it would be given directly to Ukraine. The UK’s total support to Ukraine now stands at approximately £400 million ($534.47 million). This total includes the $100 million announced on March 7, which will be directly sent to the Ukrainian government to help alleviate the financial pressures brought by the war. The grant is intended to bolster public sector salaries, which allow the consistent operation of the state, as well as to reinforce social security systems and pensions for Ukrainian citizens.

“UK aid is already reaching those who need it most, delivering essential supplies and medical support,” said Johnson.

These new batches of funding come on top of the UK’s commitment to training 22,000 soldiers, as well as sending 2,000 anti-tank missiles, giving £100 million for economic reform and energy independence, and providing £120 million of humanitarian aid, including £25 million of match funding to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal according to Downing Street.

“While only Putin can fully end the suffering in Ukraine, today’s new funding will continue to help those facing the deteriorating humanitarian situation.”

More is to come from the International Ukraine Support Group. The group can potentially further fund Ukraine’s resistance against the Russian forces, joining other countries in sustaining Ukraine’s economy and military capabilities amidst a dire situation on the ground.

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