The world's failure to act against Vladimir Putin before the Ukraine invasion has echoes of the Second World War, warns an Ukrainian MP. Lesia Vasylenko, a member of Ukraine’s parliament, said history is repeating itself, adding that she is reminded of 1938.
Asked if she thinks that the war will get so bad that the West may get involved, she told Times Radio: “The history is just repeating itself time and time again, and I don’t understand what is wrong with us humans and humanity why we don’t learn from the lessons. It’s so much easier to prevent death from happening, and destruction from happening, than to later restore it and deal with all the trauma.”
She said there is still time to stop President Vladimir Putin “once and for all” adding: “A year ago, eight years ago was the time to do this, but nobody wanted to get involved. This is the same as 1938 when also the world and the United States in particular were averting their eyes from what was being done by Hitler and his Nazi Party.
"And then they stepped in when the death toll was going up by the millions. And it’s going to be the same thing here as well, because there’s just so much that humanity can take."
She said she is grateful to people around the world who are talking to their governments and telling them to act. “But the Government is not listening so what does that tell us about democracy?” she said.
Lesia Vasylenko, who is in Strasbourg on a diplomatic assignment, was asked about how concerned she is about her own safety when she returns to Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of kidnapping the mayor of the southern port city of Melitopol, and Ms Vasylenko was asked if she fears that one day that will happen to her.
Ms Vasylenko told Times Radio: “I don’t think I know that someday in the future it could be me or any of my 426 colleagues or any one member of our families. We knew this from day one that we are targets on a special Russian list, and there’s the fate of each one of us is predetermined already in that list.
“When it will happen, if it will happen, I don’t know. And I hope that, and I have confidence in the armed forces of Ukraine, that that will not be happening anytime soon.”
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