Jeremy Corbyn says 'we might be in for years' of a war in Ukraine
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In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the UK under Boris Johnson has sent a package of military support to Kyiv worth £2.3billion. Both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have vowed to continue the military aid for Ukraine should they become Prime Minister.
However, speaking to the Al Mayadeen website earlier in August, the former Labour leader urged countries such as the UK and US to stop arming Ukraine for the sake of “the safety and security of the whole world”.
Mr Corbyn said: “Pouring arms in isn’t going to bring about a solution, it’s only going to prolong and exaggerate this war.
“We might be in for years and years of a war in the Ukraine… putting more and more arms into the Ukraine isn’t going to bring about [peace].
“This war is disastrous for the people of Ukraine and the people of Russia and… therefore there has to be much more effort put into peace.”
Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra Povoroznyk told Byline Times she admired Mr Corbyn’s politics and said he “is someone I’ve looked up to at times”.
However, she added: “So you can imagine my disappointment at the moment. I’d be very surprised if Corbyn has actually spoken to Ukrainians or even knows any, because something I’ve noticed is that even the most well-meaning Western experts, even the most pro-Ukrainian ones, don’t actually want to listen to what Ukrainians are saying.
“A lot of people in the West are denying Ukraine any sort of agency by claiming we’re constantly being manipulated by NATO or saying it’s a US proxy war and the West is forcing us to fight.
“None of these people are actually paying attention to what we’re actually saying. It’s sad and annoying.”
According to a Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) survey published on July 27, only 10 percent of Ukrainians are okay with making some territorial concessions to end the war with Russia.
In a report about the poll, carried out between July 6 and July 20 with 2,000 respondents, KIIS added: “Even among residents of the eastern oblasts, where intense fighting is ongoing, 77 percent of people are against concessions.”
Ukrainian MP, and head of its Foreign Affairs Committee, Oleksandr Merezhko also told Byline Times there is “no alternative to providing Ukraine with the all necessary heavy weaponry because Russia will never stop”.
He said: “Putin’s goal is to erase Ukraine from the map of the world. He is committing genocide against Ukrainian nation.
“If the West stops supplying weapons to Ukraine it will help Putin to occupy Ukraine and to exterminate Ukrainians.
“Peace with such persons as Putin or Hitler is impossible. They use it only as a temporary respite to accumulate strength and continue.”
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On Wednesday, Mr Corbyn backed his comments on Ukraine to LBC’s Iain Dale at an event during the Edinburgh Fringe.
Mr Dale said asked him about his comments on Al Mayadeen and whether he wanted the supply of weapons to Ukraine to stop.
Mr Corbyn said: “I think the words I used was, the only policy being followed by most of the West is to pour arms into the Ukraine.
“The point I was making was there is nobody as far as I can see pushing enough to get some kind of ceasefire.”
The recent deal on grain exports from Ukraine indicated an agreement was possible, he said.
Mr Corbyn continued: “The killing has to stop, the peace protesters in Russia have to be recognised.
“The loss of peoples’ lives in Ukraine and the refugees have got to be recognised.
“The war has to stop, otherwise where does it go? You’ve got nuclear arms in the neighbourhood.”
Mr Corbyn however did not support Russia with his comments, and defended Volodymyr Zelenksy’s response
He said: “His territory has been invaded, I absolutely condemn the Russian invasion.”
He also added he had long condemned human rights abuses by Russia, including during the Chechen war.
The Islington North MP continued: “We could just watch the war go on.
“Put more arms in there, Russia will put more arms in, and it will go on and there will be more killing.”
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