In the night of February 22, exactly one year ago, French and Ukrainians came together to protest against this invasion, that few wanted to happen but which seemed inevitable thanks to the threatening will of a single man. One year ago, we gathered anxious, incredulous, facing the relentless course of events that, hour after hour, were to lead to the subjugation of a people, the destruction of an entire nation, punished for having once again chosen, eight years ago, freedom during the Revolution of Dignity of Maidan.
On February 22, while hour after hour Russian soldiers entered occupied Donbas, and then on the morning of February 24, while the Kremlin drunk on power revealed its intentions in broad daylight beneath the whine of missiles, we swore to support Ukraine until victory.
In the emotion of the first days that followed the invasion, Stand With Ukraine mobilized to organize the massive rallies of February 24, February 26, March 5 and regularly ever since, to display support for Ukraine on the walls and in the metro of Paris, and to rapidly bring this message to the political authorities.
In April, with Ukraine victorious in Kyiv and Chernihiv, we discovered the massacre of Bucha. Stand With Ukraine travelled to Ukraine to see for ourselves and to testify in France to Russia’s crimes. This essential moral support for our Ukrainian partners continued with the filing of a complaint by the association against Ségolène Royal for her negation of the war crimes committed at Marioupol.
Throughout the spring, Stand With Ukraine continued its efforts to promote Ukrainian culture in France, provide information about the history of Ukraine, and give a voice to Ukrainian refugees. During the parliamentary elections, the association sent parliamentary candidates a Chart of support for Ukraine, which was signed by hundreds of candidates.
The summer ended with the victorious counter-offensive in Kharkiv, followed by the liberation of Kherson. But falling temperatures and Russian efforts to systematically destroy heating and electrical infrastructure have created a new emergency: supplying sufficient numbers of generators to enable hospitals, maternity units and schools to get through the winter. For this purpose Stand With Ukraine launched end November the campaign ‘Lights for winter’, to organize the delivery of generators to Ukraine. Stand With Ukraine invites French municipalities to finance generators for a specific Ukrainian municipality, to create long-term partnerships between French and Ukrainian civil society.
With the Russian invasion about to enter its second year of barbaric destruction, Stand With Ukraine is increasing its efforts to provide cultural, political and informational support for Ukraine in France, until victory! Let’s meet on February 24, Place de la République in Paris and throughout France to send a clear message: France is with Ukraine!