Mona Neubaur on Ukraine: It’s about putting a stop to Putin’s bloody system

Mona Neubaur
It’s about putting a stop to Putin’s bloody system

Mona Neubaur, NRW Economics Minister and Deputy Prime Minister at a demonstration for Ukraine in January

© Imago

NRW Economics Minister Mona Neubaur visited Ukraine to mark the two-year anniversary of the war and saw a lot of suffering, but also hope and courage – and she has clear demands as to how things must continue.

A guest article by Mona Neubaur

People have been suffering and dying in the world for two years Ukraine. Rocket attacks, cold, hunger – that’s everyday life for many people here.

Even if life in Kiev feels almost normal at first glance, it is not at second. War is omnipresent. Take away the childhood of the little ones, the fathers, the mothers and future of the youngest, and freedom from everyone!

Two years ago, when Putin thought he could simply overrun his neighboring country, the Ukrainians taught him otherwise. Men, women and children stand in front of Russian tanks and resist! People have been fighting here ever since. Day in, day out.

I met people who care for children who have lost everything. Father, mother, home and future.

I looked into eyes that look into nothingness. A little girl who endured weeks in fiercely contested Mariupol. A little boy who saw in Butscha what no one wants, can or should imagine.

Mona Neubaur, NRW Economics Minister and Deputy Prime Minister on the way to Ukraine

© Private

“We are Ukrainians – we don’t give up!”

And yet there was also hope, strength, pride, laughter. The joy in little Milana’s eyes as she unpacked the books and puzzles we brought with us. And that despite the fact that she has hardly experienced anything other than war in her life.

“We are Ukrainians – we don’t give up!”, that’s what the children have made their motto here. And so the adults don’t give up either. The burden of constantly threatening air raids, worries about loved ones at the front, mothers who give their children to relatives in Poland to be safe – what tears their hearts apart. And yet they remain full of courage, hope and drive. They want to rebuild Ukraine when they finally win.

My journey ends with the ride home, to peace, to my warm, safe bed. In other words, what was taken away from millions of Ukrainians. We have to take action! We have to organize the reconstruction now! We have to deliver ammunition! We have to supply weapons! These are exactly the weapons systems that Ukraine needs right now.

The men and women in Ukraine cannot defend themselves with expressions of solidarity and shaking hands. They can’t defend us.

Because this is about something bigger than winning the war. This is about putting a stop to Putin’s bloody system. This is about defending our democracy and ultimately our freedom. The Ukrainians are ready to sacrifice everything for this and they demand so little – let’s give them what they need so that Europe can remain what it is: free and democratic.

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