Dear Home Secretary
Like most of the world, people in Cambridgeshire looked on in horror when we woke to find Russia had launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in the early hours of 24 February.
Their military is using tanks, aviation, and rocket launchers to target Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Ivano-Frankivsk and other major Ukrainian cities. Many people including civilians are already being killed in this invasion, and thousands are being dispossessed of their homes and livelihoods.
There are many Ukrainians in the UK, including those who live in Cambridgeshire, as well as from nearby Baltic States and Russia too who have been profoundly affected by this war. There is justifiable fear about the safety of family and friends in Ukraine those now intent on defending their country against a mighty aggressor or forced into leaving their homes.
The United Kingdom is Ukraine’s strategic partner and long-standing friend.
As elected representatives in Cambridgeshire we support the actions of the UK, EU and wider international community in backing Ukraine's democratically elected government against unprovoked invasion.
But we urge the Prime Minister and the UK Government to go even further in response to the Russian invasion showing greater compassion for those in the greatest and most immediate need.
We call for the immediate following actions:
- Follow the example of the Irish Government (and others in Europe) and immediately offer a safe and legal passage for Ukrainian refugees coming to the UK, fleeing danger from this war in their home country.
- Implement even stronger sanctions, more visa bans and asset freezes on Kremlin-linked figures and companies.
In Cambridgeshire we have a long and honourable history in supporting people fleeing conflict, would want to do so again as we have for those families fleeing the restrictive regime in Afghanistan.
We are willing to play our part, and to offer more than just words of encouragement. The situation in Ukraine is absolutely critical and Ukrainians need all the support they can get from their allies in the West.
We urge you now to move faster and do more in the name of Ukrainian and European safety and security.
Councillor Lucy Nethsingha Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council
Councillor Elisa Meschini Deputy Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council
Councillor Bridget Smith Leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council
Dr Nik Johnson Mayor of Cambridge and Peterborough Combined Authority
Councillor Anna Smith Leader of Cambridge City Council