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24th Feb 2022

Ukraine Ambassador to Ireland fights back tears in emotional interview

Stephen Porzio

Ukrainian ambassador reacts to Russian invasion

‘Putin is testing the UN and the security architecture of the whole world’

Ukraine Ambassador to Ireland Larysa Gerasko has called on the international community to take action against Russia in an emotional interview.

This comes after Ukraine Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter on Thursday morning that Russian President Vladimir Putin has launched “a full-scale attack from multiple directions”.

Appearing on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Gerasko fought back the tears as she said her thoughts were with Ukraine and her family living in the country.

“I’m so emotional. I’m really shocked. My parents live 150km from the northern border of Ukraine… My brother and his family live in Kiyv,” she told the programme.

Stating that her family is currently safe, she said that it is hard to believe that such an invasion is happening in the 21st century.

“As far as I understand, Putin is testing the UN and the security architecture of the whole world and the international community and international order,” Gerasko added.

“All the international community has to be very vocal and very strong now. There are steps that the international community must do immediately in order to stop Russia.”

She said a “devastating and tough sanction” has to be enforced against Russia and that Ukraine needs financial support and humanitarian assistance.

On Thursday, Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney took to Twitter to “utterly” condemn Russia for what he called “a shocking murderous act of aggression”.

He went on to say that “what President Putin has done and said over the last number of hours is not only to start a war with Ukraine… but he’s also warned any country that intervenes and helps Ukraine, he has also threatened them very directly.

“We are seeing a language that we simply have not seen in many many decades in Europe of aggression and of potential brutality.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden have already condemned Putin’s operation, reassuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that “international support” is on the way.

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