Media Statements

International Day for the Protection of Children 2024

Call to Action: Help Defend Ukrainian Children

June 2024

Extract from the article: 

“June 1st, marks the International Day for the Protection of Children—a day dedicated to advocating for the well-being and safety of children worldwide. The children of Ukraine who have been living through unimaginable hardships since russia’s full-scale invasion which began in February 2022 need a special focus today. Around 7.5 million Ukrainian children are affected by russian aggression.
Since the brutal and unprovoked invasion by russia, Ukrainian children have faced immense adversity. Many have lost their parents and live in constant fear, clinging to hope for the safe return of their loved ones from the front lines. The joy of these reunions is fleeting, overshadowed by the relentless air raids and the endless hours spent in bomb shelters due to indiscriminate attacks.

According to official UN data, since the start of the invasion, nearly 600 children have been killed and over 1,400 injured due to russian attacks. Additionally, more than 2,000 children are currently missing, and an estimated 20,000 have been kidnapped, deported, or forcibly displaced by russian forces. Only a fraction of these children—388—have been returned. Furthermore, at least 15 children have been reported sexually abused by russian soldiers. The equivalent of a child dying every day since the war escalated, mostly from bombardment.
However, the actual toll is likely much higher!
….
New Zealand must play its part in protecting these children. We cannot passively observe these horrific crimes. On this International Day for the Protection of Children, let us commit to advocating for and assisting the children of Ukraine, ensuring they have a future free from fear and full of hope.
Together, we can make a difference. Let us stand with the children of Ukraine and work towards a world where every child is safe, healthy, and educated.”

Kate Turska (Mahi for Ukraine Spokesperson)

See also this Herald article

Open Letter - NZ at the Global Peace Summit

Open Letter: Call on the NZ Government to attend the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland

May 2024

Extract from the letter: 

“…We, Kiwi Ukrainians, take great heart from the fact that New Zealanders – some 15,000 kilometers away – have stood with Ukraine in her time of need.

It’s in this context that we ask New Zealand to continue to stand with Ukraine. With its leadership well beyond its own borders, its tradition of impartiality and fairness, and its willingness to always participate, New Zealand brings credit and impact to the table that exceeds its size. It is our understanding that there is an open invitation for the Foreign Minister of New Zealand, to attend the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland this coming June. This Summit presents a crucial opportunity for New Zealand to play an influential role in promoting peace in Ukraine and supporting international efforts to end this war. The participation of New Zealand in this historical event would not only underscore its commitment to global peace but also reinforce its solidarity with Ukraine during these challenging times.

The ongoing war in Ukraine, provoked by the Russian illegal invasion, continues to inflict immense suffering on the Ukrainian people and destabilise the region. Despite extensive efforts, including Ukraine’s 10-point peace plan aimed at establishing lasting peace, the war persists, necessitating comprehensive international support to achieve a sustainable resolution.

The Peace Summit will be an opportunity for global leaders to show unity around key principles: the sanctity of peace, respect for existing borders, and the force of law prevailing over the law of force.

The agreed peace plan will be presented to the Russian Federation, as the aggressor must negotiate on the world’s terms and not the other way around…”

See the full joint Open Letter from Mahi for Ukraine and the Ukrainian Organisations of NZ linked above.

Letter posted on our Facebook page here.

Ukrainian ambassador’s Vasyl Myroshnychenko opinion for NZ’s The Post: “The part New Zealand can play in pushing for Peace in Ukraine

Joint Media Release

Joint Media Release Mahi for Ukraine & World Vision: Residency Pathway
for Special Ukraine Visa Holders

August 2023

World Vision and Mahi for Ukraine welcome today’s announcement that the Government will provide a pathway to residency for Ukrainians seeking safety in New Zealand following the Russian invasion.

World Vision’s Head of Advocacy and Justice, Rebekah Armstrong, says the change provides much-needed certainty for hundreds of Ukrainians enabling them to rebuild their lives and futures in Aotearoa New Zealand.
More than 1500 Special Ukraine Visas have been granted and around 340 visa holders are currently in New Zealand. The two-year visa was introduced in March 2022 as part of a humanitarian response to those fleeing Ukraine due to the war.
“The special visa was a great initial step to provide immediate support for families and children fleeing war, but Ukrainians who settled in New Zealand have been longing for certainty that they can make this country their permanent home, so they won’t have to return to an active war zone,” Armstrong says.
“The New Zealand Government’s extension of certainty and pathways to residence for Ukrainians affected by conflict echoes similar actions taken by countries like Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the USA”.
“This practice reflects New Zealand’s commitment to humanitarian principles, demonstrating compassion, solidarity, and protection to those who have been impacted by global challenges,” Armstrong says.

World Vision New Zealand has been working in partnership with Mahi for Ukraine to advocate for the humanitarian support for displaced Ukrainians to resettle in New Zealand.

Mahi for Ukraine spokesperson, Kate Turska, says today’s announcement is a beacon of hope and will bring immense relief to families who have already experienced so much.
“Families who have settled in New Zealand from Ukraine come bearing the scars of war. They have seen the worst that humanity has to offer, and they have come to this country seeking peace and refuge”.
“The ongoing support demonstrated by New Zealand towards those affected by the illegal war in Ukraine is deeply appreciated by our community. The Ukrainian community acknowledges the compassion shown by the Government today in offering this pathway to residency,” she says.

Ukrainians in New Zealand since 2022 have arrived on a special visa rather than as refugees and this means they have not had access to the same entitlements and supports that are granted to refugees, such as pathways to residence.
The new pathway to residency policy will be available to all Ukrainians who arrive in New Zealand before March 15, 2024.
Armstrong says New Zealand will benefit from Ukrainians now having the certainty to invest in this country, create businesses, and integrate into the community.
“Now that they know they have a pathway to residency here in New Zealand, Ukrainians have the stability they need to focus on the long-term and rebuild dreams, careers, and families here,” she says.

Turska says while the community is extremely grateful for the Government’s commitment to simplifying the residency application process, the visa fee may be prohibitive for some vulnerable families.
She wants Ukrainians in New Zealand to know that Mahi for Ukraine will work to support them through fundraising efforts to pursue residency.
“New Zealand’s actions speak volumes about its commitment to humanitarian values, and we are thankful to be a part of a nation that stands by those in need,” Turska says.

World Vision and Mahi for Ukraine have been strong advocates for the Government to show humanitarian support for Ukrainians since the war began 18-months ago. In March 2022, the organisations sent an open letter to the Government calling for the introduction of the Special Ukraine Visa. Another open letter in March 2023 requested the Government provide certainty and pathways to residency for Ukrainians.
“We want to thank New Zealand’s NGO sector and Ukrainian organisations for signing the two open letters and the New Zealand Government for actioning our asks,” say Armstrong and Turksa.

To help Mahi for Ukraine with their initiative to support displaced Ukrainians in NZ through the residency application process and wider settlement, you can donate to Ukrainian Refugee Relocation Trust, details at www.mahiforukraine.com/the-ukraine-refugee-relocation-trust.

To help World Vision with its work to support those who have fled places like Ukraine, you can donate at www.wvnz.co.nz/CHR.

 

See more details here: a post, an article, a government publication.

– Kate Turska (Mahi for Ukraine Spokesperson)

Statement

Statement: RNZ’s pro-russian propaganda pieces

June 2023

As a taxpayer and citizen of NZ I believe in the principles of unbiased and accurate reporting, especially when it comes to international conflicts such as Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine.

Media organisations have a responsibility to provide accurate and unbiased information to the public. Any attempt to manipulate or skew reporting in favour of a particular agenda undermines the integrity of journalism and can have serious consequences for the affected communities.

An independent media landscape that promotes accurate and unbiased reporting is essential for an informed society! At a time when Russia is waging its illegal war against Ukraine and its people, committing multiple war crimes, terror acts, ecocide, and genocide in Ukraine we demand fair and accurate reporting from the New Zealand media with no exceptions!

I trust that the appropriate measures will be taken to address this issue and restore the public’s confidence in Radio New Zealand’s commitment to journalistic integrity.

See my comments in the linked article and a joint statement from the Ukrainian Organisatiosn of NZ above.

Kate Turska (Mahi for Ukraine Spokesperson)

Holodomor - call for NZ Government to act

Letter to recognise Holodomor as Genocide to Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta

May 2023

The Holodomor (‘murder by starvation’) is a genocide of the Ukrainian people committed in 1932-1933.
2023 marks 90 years since this enormous tragedy in our history. This is not the first time this same enemy used genocide and it won’t be the last… Stalin’s forced famine-genocide killed an estimated 7-10 million Ukrainians.
All genocides must be recognised and acknowledged to effectively learn from history and to not repeat such atrocities in the future.
In 2006, the Law of Ukraine, “On the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine,” recognised the Holodomor as genocide of the Ukrainian people.
Since then, various countries have also recognised the Holodomor as a genocide of the Ukrainian people.
In recent years, the list has expanded significantly.
To date over 30 countries/states around the world as well as the European Parliament and a number of organisations have recognised Holodomor in Ukraine as genocide. Australia is among these states, but not New Zealand. Should we be next?
We believe it is vitally important that Aotearoa New New Zealand takes this step as well and recognises Holodomor as genocide of the Ukrainian people.
 
More information on Holodomor can be found via various resources including the Holodomor Descendants Network
Kate Turska (Mahi for Ukraine Spokesperson)
The #Holodomor, which means “murder by starvation” in Ukrainian, is widely considered to be one of Ukraine’s most devastating national tragedies. A man-made famine brought on by the agricultural collectivisation policies and actions of the Soviet authorities under the command of Joseph Stalin, the Holodomor claimed the lives of millions of Ukrainians in just one year between 1932-33, decimating Ukraine’s agricultural life.
 
The leadership of the Soviet Union committed it with the aim of eliminating Ukrainian resistance to the regime and its attempts to build a Ukrainian state independent of Moscow. We are witnessing today that their aspirations in that regard have not changed!
The tactics being used in Ukraine by Russia today bear many similarities to those used 90 years ago. And just like back then, Russia’s war against Ukraine is a real threat to global food security.
During the famine and for decades after, Soviet authorities, attempted to cover up the truth about what had happened. While a few reports made their way to the West starting in the 1930s, it was only in the 1980s, with the appearance of two key reports by American and international commissions on the famine, that the wider public learned of the tragedy that had occurred 50 years prior.
Since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion, more and more countries have come to officially recognise the Holodomor in Ukraine as genocide. To date, outside of Ukraine, over 30 countries, as well as the European Parliament, have recognised the famine as genocide against the Ukrainian people. New Zealand is NOT one of those countries yet.
The current war in Ukraine had been described by many as “genocide”.
 
Today, the world recognises the viciousness of Russian aggression and expansionism, and the war of Kremlin aggression against Ukraine must be stopped.
Russian aggression 90 years ago must also be remembered. Unfortunately, these Russian traits have existed for centuries.
Now more than ever it is crucial that New Zealand, as a free democratic nation, speaks up…

See also Stuff article here
Kate Turska (Mahi for Ukraine Spokesperson)
 
Media Release

Media release: Brutal beheading of a Ukrainian soldier video release 

April 2023

A brutal video that purports to show a Russian fighter beheading a Ukrainian soldier with a knife while the latter appears to be alive has emerged on social media.

It is unknown when and under what circumstances the video was made — but it is yet another proof of the cruelty of the Russian military and the war crimes it routinely commits. It’s not an isolated case. Russians regularly publish videos of the executions of the Ukrainian POWs. Regularly and proudly. 

According to CNN, another similar video was purportedly filmed by Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group and published in the past week. It appears to show the beheaded corpses of two Ukrainian soldiers lying on the ground next to a destroyed military vehicle. Importantly, these are the cases that have been filmed – how many weren’t?

At a time when the Russian military is mercilessly torturing and executing Ukrainian soldiers, Russia continues to chair the UN Security Council, which is responsible for maintaining international peace and security. This cannot be forgiven. Russia must become a pariah state and take the stand in The Hague. #RussiaIsATerroristState

Eternal glory to the Ukrainian heroes who were killed defending Ukraine from the Russian invaders!

Kate Turska (Mahi for Ukraine Spokesperson)

 

Petition

Petition: Declare Russia a Terrorist State   |   Petition outcome  (28/07/2023)

November 2022

We believe that sanctions and condemnation at the level of political rhetoric are not enough considering Russia’s ongoing and brutal actions.

There is overwhelming evidence, as reported by other states, international courts, government and non-governmental organisations, as well as the media, that Russia and its armed forces are both sponsors and perpetrators of international terrorism and numerous war crimes. War crimes versus acts of terrorism are distinctions without a difference.

The kind, extent, and purpose of premeditated, politically motivated violence that the Russian state is deploying against Ukrainian non-combatants is shocking and demands a fitting response.

The pain that the international community (including New Zealand) is already inflicting on the Russian regime needs to be further increased in order to help end the war as early as possible.

Kate Turska (Mahi for Ukraine Spokesperson)

Open Letter

Open Letter to Jasinda Ardern: Invitation to visit Kyiv

September 2022

Asking our PM to walk the walk!

There’s been a lot of talk from the Prime Minister about our “commitment to continuing to support Ukraine”, and urging “a rallying cry from the world” against Russia’s war etc. The Prime Minister and Ministers have made numerous public statements unequivocally condemning Putin’s actions.

And yet, Jacinda Ardern still hasn’t met with President Zelenskyy, russian ambassador is still in Wellington spreading propaganda and actively supporting genocide, and the response from Minister Wood to our advocacy asks around expanding the ineffective Special Ukraine Visa Policy (and associated support) is still “forthcoming”, our government has not declared Russia a terrorist state or stopped issuing visas to Russian citizens… while New Zealand entities and individuals are still somehow able to raise funds here to support the aggressor.

Perhaps if Ardern visits Ukraine and sees / hears the devastating effects of this war firsthand, she would come back with a renewed sense of urgency and be more inclined to act as well as condemn.

Kate Turska (Mahi for Ukraine Spokesperson)

Media Inquiry

For the purpose of prompt coverage of the events in Ukraine, Mahi for Ukraine offers interested media to organise interviews with our Spokespersons, representatives of regional Ukrainian Organisations of NZ, members of the NZ Ukrainian community in general, Ukrainian new arrivals on the Special Ukraine Visa, residents of various cities of Ukraine in real time with professional translation.  Please contact Kate Turska to arrange. 

Please also follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn for updates.

Mahi for Ukraine “Language Matters” Media guide.

Download the Mahi for Ukraine Media language mini guide here APPEAL TO MEDIA: LANGUAGE MATTERS!

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