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Andrew RT Davies on Russian conflict in Ukraine

I know that readers will be as horrified as I am by the reports and pictures that continue to come out of Ukraine.

What we see every day is the murder of innocent men, women and children. Streets people have grown up on are becoming battlefields.

Friends and family members who, instead of picking up their knives and forks at dinner together, will be picking up weapons to defend their nation and their self-determination, as they have been doing in the last week.

It would be all too easy to talk about peace and negotiation only, and to look the other way while Russia rides roughshod over the rights and freedoms of people in Ukraine. But we haven’t looked the other way.

I am extremely proud of the role this country has played. A great deal of the weapons being used to defend Ukrainian self determination have been supplied by the British Government.

We have also been leading the charge in terms of sanctions against Russia and against Putin and his oligarch cronies.

We have stepped up to the plate on the international stage and been at the very forefront of the united front against Putin, standing up for Ukraine and freedom in Europe.

But we cannot ignore the size of the Russian army and the brutality a madman like Putin is willing to resort to. We’ve seen it before in Chechnya and in Syria.

While we may have seen some signs that the invasion is not going exactly to plan for Putin, there are still many undeployed Russian resources.

As the brutality of Putin’s methods continues to increase, we need to be ready to rise to the challenge of the growing humanitarian crisis.

We must also remember that there are many Russian people who are just as disgusted by the actions of Vladimir Putin as we are. We saw this when thousands of Russians protested in the streets.

It is my view, and the view of my Welsh Conservative colleagues in the Welsh Parliament, that Wales should play its full part in accepting refugees from Ukraine, and that we make extra resources available so that they can be supported properly once we welcome them here.

These people deserve that safety and sanctuary.

I know that residents of the Vale are prepared to stand up and be counted in the effort to support Ukrainians who are being brutalised by a madman.

Wales has a rich history of accepting refugees and evacuees from conflict. It’s time to extend that rich and proud history.

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