In recent days we have seen the invasion of sovereign Ukraine by Russian forces, and the international community, hoping to have seen a diplomatic resolution, is watching as the war unfolds. In its third week, Russia has gained territory while still facing a seemingly unexpected and sharp rebuff by Ukrainians. As a result, many countries have been standing against Russian aggression through forceful economic sanctions hoping that new extremes will push Russian President Putin to withdraw.

Canada, for its part, has opened up new avenues for refugees from Ukraine to enter and work within its borders for up to two years. In addition, Canada has  sanctioned Russia’s central bank and major energy companies. Canada has also committed to sending significant arms to Ukrainian forces. Among the states supporting Russia, Belarus has joined their cause, and China has also backed the state, with new reports saying that they have asked Russia to postpone the invasion until after their 2022 Winter Olympics.

Political parties have also weighed in with their support for Ukraine. The Global Greens, a coalition of international green parties, released a statement that pledged unwavering support for the plight of Ukraine; including stating that:

“Our principles of participatory democracy, nonviolence and respect for diversity remain as true here as at any time. We respect the need of Ukraine to defend itself, and we call upon the international community to rapidly maximize and unify nonviolent mechanisms to ensure Ukrainian sovereignty is maintained and the invasion halted and reversed.”

While the message is a positive statement of solidarity, it underlines the complexity of the current situation. Ukraine needs to defend its borders while protecting its citizens, and the international community is trying not to escalate violence. The war is rapidly evolving into a humanitarian crisis, and the coming days will be indicative of where this war will go.

Danna Houssian

Danna graduated with an M.A from Simon Fraser University and a B.A from the University of Victoria. She is highly interested in international relations and defense.

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