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Donaldson: Urges Against Allowing Ukraine to Collapse

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson (Credits: BBC)

Conservatives, let me offer a perspective on Ukraine that might challenge your perceptions: What if your own loved ones were living there, facing the constant threat of drones and missiles?

As William Wilberforce, the renowned Evangelical abolitionist, once stated, “You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.” This means understanding the potential consequences if Kyiv falls.

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson (Credits: BBC)

As the co-founder and CEO of a global church-empowerment network, I’ve witnessed the courageous struggle of Ukrainians over the past two years.

Through the CityServe International church network, we’ve provided over three million meals and equipped Ukrainian churches with generators to offer warmth and shelter when Russian attacks disrupt their electrical grid. This summer, we established Kyiv’s first Family Center to provide crucial trauma care to families and veterans who have lost everything.

Having visited the frontlines in Ukraine multiple times, I am deeply concerned that the current discourse in Washington, D.C., fails to acknowledge the brutal reality spreading out in the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts.

The stories we’ve heard from Ukrainians are harrowing.

Abductions, forced deportations, cluster bombings of civilian areas, and the torture of Ukrainian POWs — these atrocities are now under investigation by the International Criminal Court.

However, one must meet the victims to truly grasp the situation. Some fellow conservatives have cautioned me against speaking out on this issue or at least advised me to temper my message for the sake of the Republican Party.

But when I look at my three daughters, I cannot stay silent about the rampant violence occurring in parts of Ukraine under temporary occupation.

I must speak out.

During my time in Ukraine, I encountered a young man who had been abducted by Russian forces and held captive for three months. He was traumatized and initially reluctant to discuss his ordeal.

However, he eventually confided in me, revealing how he had been subjected to repeated sexual abuse by Russian soldiers. They callously boasted about the number of women, young men, and children they had violated.

I also stood alongside a Ukrainian bishop at the site of mass graves in Bucha.

Rows of gravestones awaited the identification of victims’ remains. The bishop wept as he recounted how hundreds of civilians were bound, shot, and dumped into shallow graves.

After the gunfire ceased, family members ventured out to mourn their loved ones, only to fall victim to Russian snipers positioned nearby. These snipers callously targeted civilians as they grieved beside the mass grave.

More recently, we’ve witnessed “double-tap” attacks.

Russian forces launch an initial strike on civilian targets, such as apartment buildings, prompting emergency responders to rush in to aid survivors. Then, a subsequent salvo targets these responders, causing further devastation.

If this sounds like a war crime to you, that’s because it is.

Yet, tragically, this is the reality faced by Ukrainians every day.

I understand that these stories may seem surreal to many Americans. It’s challenging to find words to describe such profound evil.

Jeffrey Donaldson (Credits: The Guardian)

But this inhuman nightmare is a stark reality.

If we prioritize political infighting over aiding Ukrainians at this critical juncture, the damage to our global moral leadership will be immeasurable.

The Russian approach to warfare is not new. Consider Berlin in May 1945.

Following the Soviet occupation, the city witnessed an unparalleled wave of mass rape. Historian Antony Beevor describes it as “the greatest phenomenon of mass rape in history.”

Hospital records from that time indicate that at least 100,000 women were victims of sexual violence. Many were raped repeatedly, and over 10,000 German women lost their lives.

History reveals that some chose to end their lives rather than endure the relentless abuse.

Now, here’s a chilling thought: The Soviet troops of that era were models of military discipline compared to Russia’s present-day army, which comprises outcasts, criminals, and parolees.

Today, Ukraine is the epicenter of the largest European conflict since World War II. Dmitry Medvedev, a close ally of Vladimir Putin, recently asserted, “Ukraine is definitely Russia.”

After all, if you deny the existence of a people, you cannot be accused of committing genocide against them, can you?

So, here’s the crux of the matter: Our leaders must not sacrifice Ukrainians on the altar of their own political agendas.

A Russian occupation would unleash a wave of torture, abductions, mutilations, and sexual violence. Serial rape of men, women, and children would become routine.

Putin’s denial of Ukraine’s national identity sets the stage for a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing on a scale unprecedented in modern times.

This isn’t mere speculation.

This isn’t a dystopian fantasy.

It’s the stark reality of the unfathomable evil awaiting Ukraine.

To my fellow conservatives: Imagine your own family — your spouse, your son, or your daughter — living in Ukraine right now. Please consider this before you decide whether to support funding efforts.

But whatever your decision, do not claim ignorance.

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