Like most New Zealanders, you’re unlikely to want to get too close to the topic of war.
You’ve probably heard about the devastating impacts of wars in the past in which New Zealand was involved, like Afghanistan, Vietnam, or the World Wars in which our grandfathers fought.
You may have also watched footage or films dealing with historic genocides that happened before or during our lifetimes, such as the Holocaust, Rwanda, Armenia.
Like me, your parents may have themselves grown up in war time and could even be veterans, like my father, grandfather and great-uncles. And like me, you’re proud to live in a country whose people and leaders prefer diplomacy and cooperation to conflict.
It would be stretching the point too far to pretend that New Zealand’s geographical distance from war zones is mirrored in the experiences of its people – many New Zealanders immigration stories include personal encounters with conflict and war. And let’s not forget New Zealand’s own “Land Wars”.
I’m writing to you because since 24 February 2022, I’ve been following Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, the ripples of which may be a turning point in world history. The spread of Russia’s hybrid war extends far beyond Ukraine, into the politics and institutions of the western world, and into our economic and logistical web of interconnectedness with the world.
In Ukraine, Russia appears intent on carrying out its aim of complete annihilation of Ukraine and its people. Russia’s allies – China, Iran, North Korea and others – are watching closely as the western world responds to Russia’s flagrant disregard for international rules and the territorial sovereignty of states that it believes it should control. 22 months into its brutal military invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s strategy could not be clearer.
I’m writing to you because doing nothing will only allow Russia, and other countries ruled by dictatorial, authoritarian regimes and state sponsors or state perpetrators of terror, to spread their terror and its malign siblings – corruption, kleptocracy, police states, piracy, repression and genocide.
Dedicated history, military, legal and political experts across the world have called for the west to fully support Ukraine while the window of opportunity to defeat the spread of state terrorism is still open.
New Zealand should, and can, do much more to help prevent the escalating genocide in Ukraine. This letter should help you understand why we need to act fast to save Ukrainian lives and culture, and why Russia’s terrorist expansionism is a threat to the rules-based order New Zealand relies on.
I’m also writing to let you know the scale of Russia’s genocidal and terrorist activities in Ukraine; and to suggest ways in which New Zealanders can help, without compromising our values of democracy, diplomacy and economic cooperation. New Zealanders can and should do more to support Ukraine’s defense and future as a democratic Eastern European state aligned to the international rules-based order.
The digital age continues humanity’s technological advances that have the potential to improve human lives, as well as to destroy human societies. Malign, aggressive expansionist forces will develop this technology in order to wage disinformation warfare, as well as to develop weapons with new, devastating features that can be used en masse in terror attacks and wars of invasion and conquest.
Doing nothing now is not an option that we can rely on to control our own destiny.
Acting now to prevent the further escalation of Russia’s genocide – to save Ukrainian lives and ensure that we do not fall into the trap of believing Russian lies – is the route most likely to weaken Russia’s ability to coopt other corrupt states into its field of influence.
Russian official policy is currently being used to ‘educate’ Russian civil society to accept genocide as a normal and desirable state of affairs. Russian history shows an unrelenting tendency to prefer coercion, corruption and brutality to diplomacy, cooperation and democracy. If there is one thing, I have learnt over the past two years, it is that Russia cannot be trusted – Russia does not want peace.
- In the attached report you can read about:
- 16 KEY CONCERNS ABOUT RUSSIA’S WAR AND GENOCIDE IN UKRAINE
- 10 WAYS THAT NEW ZEALAND CAN AND SHOULD SUPPORT UKRAINE
- WHY DEMOCRATIC COUNTRIES SHOULD HELP UKRAINE NOW
- FURTHER EVIDENCE AND INFORMATION ABOUT THE ESCALATING GENOCIDE OF UKRAINIANS
- HOW MANY UKRAINIANS HAVE BEEN KILLED BY RUSSIA?
- NZ GOVERNMENT PRESS RELEASES & STATEMENTS ON UKRAINE – LINKS
2024 will be a pivotal year for the future of Ukraine, and the future of democracies around the world. To defend against Russian terror, aggression and political interference will take courage and attention to the lessons of history. Collaboration with Russian corruption, economic and energy blackmail, and pro-genocide narratives can only have the same impact as collaboration with Hitler’s Nazis in the late 1930’s.
It is up to all of us to make sure that New Zealand stands on the right side of history, to help protect democracies everywhere. Thank you for being part of the solution.
Sincerely, Antipodean Hit & Run Trooper