The people of Ukraine are fighting for our freedom - Matt Warman, MP for Boston and Skegness
The stakes, it was thought, were simply too high. Nuclear-armed Russia would surely not be so provocative as to invade even a part of Ukraine, a country on the borders of Nato and therefore just a step away from a coordinated response.
How wrong so many of us were.
As I write this, the heroism of so many in Ukraine is matched only by the fear of so many beyond it.
Family, friends and loved ones can only look on as they wonder how long it will be before the Russians advance, and worry that the manner of that advance will brutally punish the resistance of Ukraine in a bid to send a signal to the Western allies.
Those allies, with the UK pushing for the hardest of sanctions on Russia, have said that this expedition from Moscow must end in failure on every level. Military aid seeks to prolong it and so heap pressure on President Putin’s popularity. But the fact remains that, apparently unconcerned by sanctions and even the loss of Russian lives, Putin exposes the West’s limited power to stop him.
This may well be a bloody and prolonged war, but it is not just a war for Ukraine. It is a war for the freedoms we all hold so dear – the freedoms that to some extent Covid highlighted, and which we cannot allow a brutal dictator to extinguish in Europe. Slava Ukraini!