A timely and critical conversation with EarthRights' Ukrainian friend, Kate Liashchenko, as today Putin has officially invaded Ukraine, unprovoked.
It is sending shivers down the spine. To get a clearer picture on the ongoing conflict and tense relationship between Ukraine and Russia, listen to Kate, Pippa and Mel's discussion on this tense and emotional situation on the EarthRights podcast.
In the episode, they confront the recent history between the two nations, since the fall of the Soviet Union, highlighting how the invasion of Crimea in 2014 and the ongoing troubles in the coal rich basin of Donbass are still rearing their ugly heads against Ukraine.
But, whereas in 2014 Ukrainians were less decided on the political future of their country, now there is consensus in aligning with Europe, NATO and the West. Undoubtedly this shift has unsettled Putin who has decided to invade Ukraine.
Moreover, and very importantly, the gas pipeline that runs from Russia, through Ukraine, and supplies European nations with energy, is also causing hideous controversy. The money Russia earns from supplying European nations with gas is in turn funds Putin's army and war with Ukraine. It appears that coal and gas, fossil fuel generators, continue to jeopardize human rights: Ukrainian's right to self-determination and their right to life.
Throughout the episode Kate reflects on her personal concerns with the rising tensions for her family and friends living in Ukraine, whilst she watches from afar in Lisbon, Portugal.
To support people in Ukraine, take a look at these links: