The West must unite against Russian aggression

We are all sad and deeply traumatised about the russian military aggression and many lives lost. Unfortunately, it’s not over!

However, this is the worst time for hesitancy. Immediate actions should take place. Our government can support Ukraine and along with the rest of the democratic world we can stop the world from collapsing into chaos.

We have prepared a draft bullet-point list of requests (download link below as well as the full text at the bottom of this post) to the Australian government that we encourage you to share with your local members of parliament (https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Guidelines_for_Contacting_Senators_and_Members) and up to the Prime Minister (https://www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm). They need to hear opinions and requests from common Australians as it empowers them.

Finally, you can speak to your friends, your colleagues and total strangers to join our efforts to stop the war. 

Please join our peaceful rallies to protect the democratic world from invasion and to support Ukraine.

[last updated 10 May 2022]:

Please join the upcoming community events and support Ukraine in its hour of need!

Event 1Tuesday 10th May @ 12 noon – Protest at Hungarian Consulate309 Kent Street, Sydney
Event 2Thu 12th May @ 4:30pm – TBD. 
Event 3Sat 14th May @ 10am-12noon – Welcome Displaced Ukrainians CYM Hall, 3 John St Lidcombe
Event 4Sun 15th May @ 2:00pm – Rally for Ukraine1 Macqurie Street, Sydney

* We will post updates about further rallies or changes as soon as possible. Please also check “Ukrainians in Sydney” page on Facebook as this page may not be up to date.

Слава Україні! Героям Слава!


Draft letter (feel free to change any part as it represents numerous views from people who are against the unjustified military aggression in Ukraine):

To: [Local Member of Parliament], Prime Minister of Australia

As an Australian, I condemn the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russia and I am concerned that should this be allowed to continue, it will set a dangerous precedent in terms of international peace and security. I ask that the Australian Government to:

Increase the sanctions on Russia and Russia’s allies including Belarus.

– Work with Western partners to help close the sky over Ukraine.

Provide military aid, including lethal weapons.

Further assist Ukraine with cyber security.

– Sever diplomatic relations with Russia.

– Prohibit entry to Australia and cancel all existing visas to Russia’s ruling class and their families (including members of the Duma, the Senate, the presidential council, the top echelons of the security and defence services, state television employees).

– Provide financial support to Ukraine.

– Allow tax deductions for private donations to support Ukraine.

– Provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

A tragedy is unfolding in Ukraine. I ask that the Australian government take immediate and decisive action.

Yours sincerely

[Name]


Update: We receive a number of calls from different countries which support Ukraine, including Japan. We provide a draft letter to Japanese nationals that they can use to approach Japanese government:

Japan

NEWS UPDATE #107

A global coalition of businesses has united in support of the people of Ukraine and  against Putin’s brutal invasion. As of May 4, this tracking list identifies 674 companies that have  announced actions to either withdraw entirely or materially reduce their operations within Russia. 180 have still not pulled out of the Russian market.

https://coalitionforukraine.com/

· After placing export restrictions to Russia, Taiwan has also restricted exports of high-tech goods to Belarus. The Taiwanese government has imposed controls on technology exports to Belarus, with restrictions prohibiting Taiwanese companies from exporting a wide range of technology products without special permission.
The export control list includes equipment for semiconductor production – an industry where Taiwan is a world leader, as well as lasers and navigation systems. It is designed to prevent the use of technology for military purposes. [9:26am 8-5-2022 Kyiv]

· South Korea’s largest cryptocurrencies block Russian IP addresses.
UPBIT, Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, explained the blockade by a recommendation from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The stock exchange said it could reject requests for withdrawals if it turned out to be related to Russia.
Another Korean exchange, GOPAX, froze about 20 accounts registered by Russian users and banned IP addresses from Russia. BITHUMB and KORBIT also blocked access from Russian IP addresses, “the agency writes. 12:45pm 8-5-2022 Kyiv]

· Russian forces are expropriating for themselves oil from the Ukrainian Pologi Oil Extraction Plant in the Zaporizhia region, which the plant was preparing for shipment to foreign partners.
Russian forces keep ignoring established international laws to which Russia is a party. Ombudsman Liudmila Denisova’s pointed out that the theft of food from occupied territories was a violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention related to the Protection of
Civilian Persons in Time of War and War Crimes under Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. [1:41pm 8-5-2022 Kyiv]

· The EU is considering a ban on insurance of ships carrying Russian oil.
The Wall Street Journal writes that the EU is considering banning the insurance of ships carrying Russian oil as part of a new package of sanctions. [3:18pm 8-5-2022 Kyiv]

· German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that Russia’s war against Ukraine put an end to the idea of a common European home, voiced by Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.
On May 5, Steinmeier had a telephone conversation with President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which he assured of Germany’s full support for Ukraine. According to Steinmeier’s spokeswoman, all misunderstandings from the past have been resolved “and Zelensky invited the federal president and chancellor to Ukraine. [4:22pm 8-5-2022 Kyiv]

· Hungary continues to block new sanctions against Russia.
The abandonment of Russian oil could be a particular challenge for Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria, which buy the resource mainly from Russia. In general, Russian oil accounts for 25% of the EU’s oil imports, while gas – 40%.
It needs to be noted that the sixth package of sanctions against the Russian Federation provides gradual introduction of an embargo on oil and oil products from the Russian Federation. [5:18pm 8-5-2022 Kyiv]

· Google has begun blocking the accounts of members of the Russian DUMA who have come under sanctions. [6:29pm 8-5-2022 Kyiv]

· South Korean airline Korean Airlines has decided to continue the suspension of flights to Russia until the situation between Russia and Ukraine stabilizes.
In March, the airline suspended flights to Moscow and Vladivostok until the end of April for security reasons amid a worsening geopolitical situation due to Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. [8:10pm 8-5-2022 Kyiv]

· Canada has abolished all tariffs on Ukrainian goods for a year.
As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pointed out: “This is a good continuation of the EU-Britain initiative, which confirms the interest of developed countries in involving the Ukrainian economy in their own industrial and trade chains. ” [10:31pm 8-5-2022 Kyiv]

“Дбаємо про самопочуття” – онлайн семінар українською мовою

Багато українців та людей українського походження в Австралії схильні до стресу та відчуття тривоги, що викликані війною Росії проти України. Люди переживають за життя та безпеку рідних і близьких в Україні та за майбутнє України. Деякі люди, ймовірно, переживають, що конфлікт може перекинутися за межі України. Останні новини можуть також ініціювати або загострити існуючі проблеми психічного здоров’я.
Асоціація українців міста Сіднея (the Ukrainian Association of Sydney) проводить серію онлайн семінарів «Дбаймо про самопочуття» (“Keeping Well”), щоб підтримати спільноту в такий скрутний час. Під час семінару буде розглянуто наступне: наслідки вторгнення Росії в Україну на наше психічне здоров’я та самопочуття, як розпізнавати симптоми психічного стресу в себе та в інших, і де шукати допомогу. Під час вебінару ви також отримаєте поради та практичні навички щодо управління стресами та підтримки хорошого самопочуття в цей непростий час. Вебінар буде проводитись англійською мовою з перекладачем на українську.

Семінар буде на англійській мови з україномовним перекладачем.
Вартість: FREE \ БЕЗКОШТОВНО
Місце проведення: Online (Microsoft Teams) – посилання буде надано після реєстрації
Коли: Середа, 18 Травня з 18:00 до 19:30 (AEDT)
Реєстрація: Для реєстрації надішліть запит у довільній формі на info@hromada.org.au

NEWS UPDATE #92

· New York will allocate US$ 2 million from the city budget to help Ukrainian migrants. [4:38am 23-4-2022 Kyiv]

· Mass grave site: MANGUSH: In Mariupol, the Russian forces are clearing the rubble of the Drama Theatre bombed by Russian troops – the found bodies are being taken to the village of Mangush, where they are dumped in a trench mass grave. [12:06pm 23-4-2022 Kyiv]

· The import of electricity from Russia to Finland will be limited, said power line operator Fingrid. The amount will be reduced from the current 1,300 to 900 megawatts commencing Sunday, April 24. [12:51pm 23-4-2022 Kyiv]

· Two young actresses of the city theatre, Elizaveta and Sonya, were killed in Mariupol. [1:36pm 23-4-2022 Kyiv]

· On April 21, the Russians took 308 deported Mariupol residents to Vladivostok, 90 of whom were children. [2:06pm 23-4-2022 Kyiv]

· Russia has prepared a list of genuine brand goods that will be imported under the label ‘counterfeit’ in order to circumvent the ban on their direct export-sale to Russia. They are to be bought by third parties in the West and then imported from the purchaser (aka ‘paralell import’).
Some of the car brands much sought after in Russia: Tesla, Land Rover, Jeep, Jaguar, Chrysler, Bently, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Dodge, Hummer, Rover.
Also technology brands in demand are: Apple and Samsung, XBox and Play Station consoles and dozens of other manufacturers. [8:11pm 23-4-2022 Kyiv]

· Ukraine and Poland have signed a memorandum on strengthening cooperation in the railway sphere, according to which they will establish a joint logistics company of the two countries. The memorandum provides for the establishment of a joint logistics company of the two countries. The prime Minister D. Shmygal notes that this will dramatically increase the volume of rail transportation of Ukrainian exports to the EU and world markets through Europe.
Due to Ukraine’s ports on the Black Sea being blockaded by the Russian navy, Ukraine’s sales abroad have halved. Moreover, agricultural products managed to export 200,000 tons in March, although before the war exports were estimated at millions of tons
per month. Volumes are gradually increasing due to the railway, which has refocused exports, but these capacities are limited by both the logistics capabilities of the EU and Ukrainian railways. [9:44pm 23-4-2022 kyiv]

NEWS UPDATE #91

· For the first time in two decades, Japan called the Kuril Islands illegally occupied by Russia
It is pointed out that the Northern Territories are “lands inherently Japanese, but now illegally occupied by Russia.”
On March 7, 2022 Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called the southern part of the Kuril Islands as Japan’s original ancestral territories.
The Islands have been a longstanding matter of contention with Moscow which had occupied the islands after WWII and has been controlling it. [7:40am 22-4-2022 Kyiv]

· The publisher of Vogue, GQ, Tatler and Glamor magazines has completely closed in Russia.
Despite the fact that we have been doing successful business in Russia for more than 20 years, the constant atrocities caused by this unprovoked war [by Russia] and the relevant censorship laws have made it impossible for us to continue our activities there,” said Roger Lynch, General Director of the company. [10:55am 22-4-2022 Kyiv]

· Australia has imposed sanctions on another 147 Russian citizens over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including Putin’s daughter and the daughter of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Thus, the total number of Russians affected by Australian sanctions has approached 750.
According to Australian Foreign Minister Maris Payne, “Australia will continue to impose restrictive measures against those who are responsible for Russia’s aggression against Ukraine or have leverage in the country.” [11:35am 22-4-2022 Kyiv]

· Swedish manufacturer ZEWA and LIBRESSE comes from Russia
The Swedish company Essity, which produces such personal care products as ZEWA and LIBRESSE, is leaving Russia due to the conditions of doing business in the aggressor country.
“In addition, work has begun to exit the Russian market. In 2021, Essity’s net sales in Russia amounted to approximately SEK 2.8 billion, which is approximately 2% of total consolidated net sales in 2021,” the report said.
ESSITY is a Swedish company working in the field of pharmaceuticals and personal hygiene and produces products under the brands LEUKOPLAST, TORK, LIBERO, ZEWA and others. The company’s shares have been traded on NASDAQ since 2017. [11:45am 22-4-2022 Kyiv]

· The Finnish manufacturer of cranes and lifting equipment KONECRANES has decided not to take new orders in Russia – will reduce business in Russia gradually and in accordance with the law.
“We have decided not to take new orders from Russia. The reduction of our Russian business will be gradual and will be carried out in accordance with local laws and regulations, and the safety and well-being of our Russian employees will be a priority.
As a result of this decision, in the first quarter of 2022, Konecranes wrote off orders for 79 million euros and canceled sales to Russia for 32 million euros, as these projects were suspended.
KONECRANES has made a donation to the International Committee of the Red Cross in support of the victims and refugees of the conflict in Ukraine. Through these efforts, we want to support and show our solidarity with the people who are suffering from this humanitarian crisis, “the company added. [11:58am 22-4-2022 Kyiv]

· The Belgian beer concern ANHEUSER-BUSCH INBEV will sell its stake in Russian business – in Russia the company produces beer under the brands BUD and Corona.
The company together with the Turkish Anadolu Efes owns a joint venture AB InBev Efes, where the controlling stake belongs to the Turkish side. The company has now announced the sale of its stake and is in talks with a Turkish partner to buy it.
In addition, said the world’s largest beer concern, all proceeds from the sale of Chernihiv beer in Britain, Germany, Belgium, France,
the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Poland, Italy, Colombia and Brazil will go to support humanitarian aid – at least US$ 5 million.
In Russia, AB InBev Efes has 11 plants. In addition to the BUD brand, the company supplies beer from Klinske, Polar Bear, Corona Extra, Hougaarden, Leffe, Spaten and others. [12:07pm 22-04-2022 Kyiv]

· SKF, Sweden’s largest bearing manufacturer, has announced its complete exit from Russia, where it has a plant.
The company will write off SEK 500 million (over US$ 50 million) in assets in the second quarter. Sales in Russia accounted for about 2% of the group’s total turnover in 2021. [12:47pm 22-4-2022 Kyiv]

· Russia’s sanctioned SOVCOMBANK will offer Eurobond holders to exchange them for Russian ones so that owners can receive payments in Russia, bypassing the international payment infrastructure.
Earlier, the bank was unable to settle for $ 1.2 billion in four Eurobonds due to sanctions. The bank said that “due to sanctions, it does not have the technical ability to use the international payment infrastructure to service Eurobonds, but will begin to repay
interest after the development of the relevant mechanism.” 1:42pm 22-04-2022 Kyiv]

· In Russia, there were difficulties with the purchase of buttons. Due to the sanctions imposed on Russia, many garment factories have faced difficulties in purchasing accessories, including a lack of buttons. [3:23pm 22-04-2022 Kyiv]

· The American glass manufacturer GUARDIAN INDUSTRIES, which has two plants in Russia, has announced its withdrawal from Russian assets.
Guardian Industries is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of coated glass, insulating materials and glass for the automotive industry. [4:01pm 22-04-2022 Kyiv]

· Exports of gas from Kremlin-controlled GAZPROM to Europe could fall by about a third this year due to the war in Ukraine, competition with liquefied natural gas and plans to switch Russia to ruble payments.
A Moscow official indicated that GAZPROM’’ssupplies to Europe could be reduced by 40-45 billion cubic metres this year from about 150 billion cubic metres in 2021.
“The largest consumers of GAZPROM’s gas in Europe in 2021 were Germany, which received 45.8 billion cubic metres, Italy, which received 20.8 billion cubic metres, and Austria, which received 13.2 billion cubic metres. [4:21pm 22-04-2022 Kyiv]

· A subsidiary of the Japanese corporation Nissan Motor “Nissan Motor Ukraine” has resumed sales and service of cars in the official dealer network.
Dealer network service centers provide all car maintenance and repair services, including warranty, and for Nissan owners who have traveled abroad in their cars purchased in the official dealer network, a European warranty is offered. [8:25pm 22-04-2022 Kyiv]
· Another mass grave was found, this is the biggest genocide since the Holocaust – the mayor of Mariupol On April 21, it became known that the satellite had recorded a large mass grave in the Russian-occupied village of Mangush, where 3 to 6,000 Mariupol residents could be buried.
And already on April 22 there was information about another such grave east of Mariupol, in the village of Vynohradne.
Thus, satellite images of Planet show that the size of the mass grave is 45 by 25 metres. At least 1,000 Mariupol residents killed by Russians may be buried here. [8:40pm 20-4-2022 Kyiv]

· Together, EU countries have blocked 35 billion euros in Russian assets – most frozen by France, which holds funds from the Central Bank of Russia.
Data were not available for several Member States, including Spain and Hungary. Of the countries for which data has been obtained the amounts frozen are:
France 23.5b euros
Belgium 10b euros
Italy 1.1b euros
Ireland 839.4mill. euros
Netherlands 515.9mill euros
Poland 34.5mill euros
Sweden 28.8mill euros

NEWS UPDATE #88

· Apparently, hundreds of trucks from Russia and Belarus were unable to leave the European Union by the deadline of 16 April.
In the last hours before the deadline, the queue on the Polish-Belarusian border stretched for 80 kilometres on the Polish. Some drivers had been waiting for more than 30 hours and there was practically no chance of leaving leave before the end of the day of the 16 April. [8:21am 18-4-2022 Kyiv]

· More than a million Ukrainians have returned home during the war with Russia
Although many millions of Ukrainians fled their homeland since Russia started its full-on invasion of Ukraine, however, recently quite a number have started to return. So fat the number of Ukrainian citizens who have returned since 24 February has reached
a total of 1,060,000. [11:06am 18-4-2022 Kyiv]

· The Cabinet of Ministers supported the National bank of Ukraine’s (NBU) proposal to nationalise 26 billion hryvnia of assets of Russian banks withdrawn from the Ukrainian market. The decision of the National Security and Defense Council and the President’s signature are awaited.
According to the decision of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), the State will expropriate highly liquid assets of such Russian banks as “MR BANK” (“subsidiary” of SBERBANK) and PROMINVESTBANK. Specifically, it relates to funds in the savings account with the NBU, in the correspondent accounts of banks, loans from state-owned companies and liabilities of the parent structures of these banks.
In addition, confiscated will be government bonds, ie the State, as represented by the Ministry of Finance, will no longer owe anything to Russian banks. Certificates of deposit will also be expropriated, ie the National Bank will not refund them either.
[12:16pm 18-4-2022 Kyiv]

· The head of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation Elvira Nabiullina expects significant economic problems in the second or third quarter.
Sanctions have primarily affected the financial market, “but now they will increasingly affect the economy,” she said.
“The main problems will be related to restrictions on imports and logistics of foreign trade, and in the future there will be restrictions on exports,” – added the Chairperson of the Central Bank. [12:49pm 18-4-2022 Kyiv]

· UKRPOSHTA (Ukraine Postal Service) imposes restrictions on the brand “Russian warship, go …**** * ” due to huge speculation. Ukrainians have bought almost half a million copies of the special postage stamp issue: “Russian warship, go…** **** ” in 5 days since its launch.
Circulation was 1 million units printed and it is not planned to reprint it, according to the national postal service Ukrposhta.
And because of the hype surrounding the now legendary issue, some people began to resell it at highly inflated prices.
Therefore, in order to avoid speculation and to get the issue to as many people as possible, Ukrposhta imposed restrictions on its sale by limiting the number of copies a person can buy.
“Some people are starting to sell their purchased stamp and first issue first cover envelope with the stamp at highly speculative prices. For example, you can already buy an envelope with a US$ 1,000 stamp on Ebay.” [1:40pm 18-4-2022 Kyiv]
[Comment: if you have not bought one yourself as yet, you may miss out – this issue is already an historic collector’s item]

· Since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, the number of applications for bankruptcy has fallen from 1,100 in February 2022 to 16 in March and April in total.
This situation is connected in particular with the complicated work of courts in the regions where hostilities are taking place.
However, the procedure for initiating bankruptcy proceedings has not changed since the imposition of martial law. [2:08pm 18-4-2022 Kyiv]

· Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said the withdrawal or suspension of foreign companies in Moscow created risks for 200,000 people.
According to western experts forecasted results for Russia in 2022, they expect that unemployment in Russia may more than double and exceed 9% for the first time in 10 years. There are about 2 million jobs are at risk as an effect of the sanctions
being imposed. [2:24pm 18-4-2022 Kyiv]

· Russia has blocked from its citizens the Human Rights Watch website.
On April 8, the Russian Ministry of Justice closed its HRW office in Russia, as well as 14 other foreign NGOs, including Amnesty International, the Carnegie Endowment, and the Heinrich Böll Foundation. [2:35pm 18-4-2022 Kyiv]

· The GUR told how Russia is forcing its “refusniks” to fight in Ukraine.
The Central Intelligence Unit of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine states that the number of official “refusals” among Russian servicemen is growing, and the military leadership presses men into fighting in Ukraine by threatening their relatives, ceasing payments to them and charging them with offences [3:22pm 18-4-2022 Kyiv].

· Back to the USSR: Russian forces that occupied the township of Henichesk in the Kherson region, erected a monument to Lenin. They also hoisted the Russian flag and the soviet red flag. [3:52pm 18-4-2022 Kyiv]

· The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence has released a contact number for the Russian military personnel who want to surrender.
The spokesperson for the Ukrainian Ministry noted that Russian servicemen are turning to the Ministry enquiring how to surrender and not become Russian “cannon fodder” in Ukraine.
A contact number was provided with the request to spread the word as much as possible in Russia and among their Russian servicemen. [4:46pm 2022 Kyiv]

· Global investors are withdrawing funds from China after the Russian invasion of Ukraine
· Global funds and companies are cutting back on investment in China for fear of government interference and the risk of sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In March alone, global funds began issuing and selling more than US$ 7 billion worth of shares in Hong Kong, as well as US$ 14 billion in Chinese public debt over the past two months, and reduced their credit stocks.
“Markets are worried about China’s ties with Russia – it’s scaring investors, and you may notice that risk aversion has been evident since the beginning of the invasion,” said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management. “Everyone was selling Chinese bonds, so we’re glad we didn’t buy them.” [5:31pm 18-4-2022 Kyiv]

· Putin awarded honorary title to Russian brigade, which committed atrocities in Bucha, for “exemplary actions The Putin awarded the 64th Brigade, which occupied Bucha in the Kyiv region in March, the honorary title of “Guardsman for exemplary actions” during the war against Ukraine. ”. [It has been established and documented that this unit purposefully
killed civilians, children and raped women.]
The brigade is a unit of the 35th All-Military Army of the Eastern Military District and its standard base is in the Khabarovsk Territory of Russia.
Podolak, a member of the Ukrainian negotiation team stated: “While someone is debating whether the crimes of the Russian Federation in Ukraine can be called genocide, the Russian Federation continues to laugh in the face of the world.” [6:23pm 18-4-2022 Kyiv]

President Zelensky: The battle for Donbas has begun, the generals of the Russian Federation are acting more cautiously.
Zelensky stated that Russian troops have begun the battle for Donbas, for which they have been preparing for a long time: a very large part of the entire Russian army is now focused on this offensive.
“No matter how many Russian soldiers are expelled there, we will fight. We will defend ourselves. We will do it every day. We will not give anything Ukrainian, and we do not need someone else’s.” [11pm 18-4-2022 Kyiv]

· Russia will not be able to replenish missile reserves, so now Russia in effect is “demilitarising itself” – President Zelensky
“Russian forces are not slowing down the use of missiles against Ukraine. Although they should have realised that it will be extremely difficult for them to replenish their missile stockpile especially now in the face of existing sanctions. Without imports, they cannot even do that.
And when all the loopholes used to circumvent sanctions are closed, and when even tougher sanctions are imposed, restoring Russia’s missile capabilities will be unrealistic.
That is, Russian missile strikes lead to only one thing – missile self-demilitarisation of the Russian Federation.” [11:02pm 18-4-2022 Kyiv]

· The former vice-president of Gazprombank and his family were found dead in Moscow
A source in the Russian law enforcement agencies said that Gazprom Bank Vice President Vladislav Avaev, his wife and underage daughter were found dead in Moscow.
All died from a gunshot. [11:36pm 18-4-2022 Kyiv]