DA leader John Steenhuisen lands in Ukraine

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DA leader John Steenhuisen
DA leader John Steenhuisen
/Jeffrey Abrahams, Gallo Images
  • DA leader John Steenhuisen is visiting Ukraine.
  • He wants to see the situation for himself.
  • Steenhuisen said the knock-on effects of the war were also felt in South Africa.

DA leader John Steenhuisen is in war-torn Ukraine on a fact-finding mission.  

Steenhuisen announced on Sunday he arrived in Lviv in the west of the country, from where he would embark on a six-day tour of Ukraine - mainly around the capital, Kyiv.

"Over the course of the next week, I will be visiting refugee camps as well as meeting with various mayors, governors, business leaders, students and ordinary Ukrainian citizens to see, first-hand, the effects of the Russian invasion and the ongoing occupation of parts of Ukraine. In the era of fake news and propaganda, this is the only way to truly know what is happening," he said in statement.     

He said the purpose of his trip was to see for himself what was happening in Ukraine.

"We owe it to the people of Ukraine to tell the unfiltered truth about what is taking place there so that the world can stand united in bringing this injustice to an end.

"It is also important to remember that we live in a super-connected world where disruptions in one part cause major ripples everywhere else."

READ | Ramaphosa's call to Zelensky a 'very strong signal to Putin' - Ukrainian ambassador

According to Steenhuisen, Russia's invasion of Ukraine is not a European problem, but a global problem.

"The knock-on effect of this war on our own fuel, maize, cooking oil and fertiliser prices will reach deep into the pockets of poor South Africans who can already not make ends meet," he said.

"We dare not pretend that this is a war that has nothing to do with us. And we dare not pretend that remaining 'neutral' in this situation is admirable. When we have clear and undeniable evidence of injustice, we owe it to the victims to pick a side and speak out."

After Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, the DA spoke out in solidarity with Ukraine while condemning the invasion.

The ANC-led government has tacitly supported Russia under the guise of neutrality, which has drawn criticism from Ukraine at the UN.

However, almost two months after speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Cyril Ramaphosa recently spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky.

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