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We are a group who seek to promote international friendship and understanding.

We meet together regularly for social events and fundraising and take part in exchange visits with similar groups from our twin cities and partner towns abroad.

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Thursday, 10 March 2022

It has been two weeks since CAIF made its first statement on the situation in Ukraine, a period during which the shock and horror has been increasing on a daily, incremental basis. Given the way that the Russian invasion and attacks have escalated and the way in which Russian civil society is being coerced to align itself with the official version of events, CAIF feels it necessary to make a new statement. Previously, we expressed only disapproval of Russian actions but now we feel compelled to condemn the wanton destruction of habitations and public facilities, the senseless killing of men, women and children and the displacement of two million people, 4% of the Ukrainian population, as refugees. We do not associate the Russian people at large with the decisions of their government and, indeed, we wish to place ourselves in solidarity with the individuals and groups in Russia who have bravely spoken out against the carnage being perpetrated in their name - in the face of the severe repression of freedom of expression and assembly. Protests against Putin’s war have come from - amongst many - members of Russia's Upper House of Parliament, members of the Russian Orthodox Church, representatives of Human Rights organisations, eminent literary figures, prominent personalities from the media, arts and culture, sportsmen and women, and citizens in many cities. University students who have taken part in protests have been expelled from their institutions and the employment of some ordinary working people has been terminated for voicing opposition. Numerous individuals have chosen to place themselves in exile outside their native homeland. Even more troubling is the threat by Putin’s Government to use nuclear weapons, which would be illegal under international law in almost all conceivable circumstances, as attested by several international declarations and conventions, the most important of which are -

• International Court of Justice (ICJ)

• Hague Convention

• Universal Declaration of Human Rights

• Geneva Convention

We call on our friends in Coventry and the United Kingdom and the citizens and representatives of all of Coventry’s twin cities and friendship towns to –

• Express, wherever they are able, their opposition to the wanton destruction of habitations and public facilities and the senseless killing of humanity in Ukraine.

• Associate themselves with CAIF in working towards a world in which the prohibition of the use of nuclear weapons is re-affirmed in international law, to which all civilized nations are signatories.