Marking One Year Since Russia’s Full-Scale Invasion of Ukraine | Feb 23, 2023

Joint Statement by U.S. Mission and British High Commission in Uganda

Marking One Year Since Russia’s Full-Scale Invasion of Ukraine

On February 24, 2022, Russian troops invaded the sovereign nation of Ukraine. Their actions violated the UN Charter, to which Russia signed on in 1945 as a founding member, and Uganda signed on in 1962, just after independence.  On the day Russia invaded, all the work that Ukrainians had done to build their democracy was under attack.  And their resolve to save it was clear.  While peace remains the ultimate goal, Ukraine has no option but to defend itself against Russia’s violation of sovereign Ukrainian territory.

The Ukrainian people chose independence following the dissolution of the Soviet Union over 30 years ago, and they continue to choose independence today.  African nations, many of which fought for and won independence not that many years ago, understand the significance of this hard-fought victory.  As Ambassador Martin Kimani, Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the UN, so eloquently said at a UN Security Council meeting when talking about his country’s opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: “We [Africans] rejected irredentism and expansionism on any basis, including racial, ethnic, religious, or cultural factors.  We reject it again today.”

Ukrainians are fighting for their freedom against an invading neighbor that wishes to crush Ukrainian sovereignty.  This violation of international law deserves the outrage of sovereign nations the world over, not least of all here in Africa.  We believe strongly that African voices matter in the international community, that your voices matter in the global conversation.  We believe that it is critical at this moment in time that the entire international community demonstrates unity and speaks with one voice against this aggression and in support of principles, timeless principles.  These include sovereignty, territorial integrity, peaceful resolution of disputes, protection of civilians.

We hope that Ugandans will join us in echoing President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s calls for a just and durable peace – one that recognizes and respects Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence.