BY Ian Dunn | March 14 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

3-UKRAINE-UNREST

Order of Malta helps Ukrainians on the frontline

Relief arm offers practical help in Kiev, Poland and Germany as US Secretary of State John Kerry talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in London

 

The Order of Malta is preparing to send aid to the people of Ukraine as the political and civil unrest there worsens.

“More and more Ukrainians are in need of relief as state agencies cut back support for social services because of the country’s weakened economy, and many are looking to the Order of Malta’s Ukrainian Relief Corps for help,‘ Ingo Radtke of Malteser International, the Order of Malta’s international relief agency, said. “We are observing the situation closely, ready to support our Ukrainian partners on the ground in case of escalation.”

Since December, the Order of Malta has been running two field kitchens on Independence Square, Kiev, the main site of clashes between protesters and government troops. By the end of February, they had served 350,000 hot meals and 250,000 gallons of tea. The kitchens continue to operate nearly around the clock every day.

The order’s relief organisations in neighbouring countries are also on alert to provide assistance as needed. In recent weeks, the Order of Malta Relief Service in Poland has been supporting the evacuation of injured Ukrainians, brought to Polish hospitals for treatment.The Order in Germany has supported the Ukrainian organisation for over 20 years; and donated the field kitchens.

Today, the US Secretary of State John Kerry is holding talks on Ukraine with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in London, two days before a disputed referendum in Crimea. Mr Kerry was expected to warn Mr Lavrov that the referendum and Russia’s military intervention in Crimea could trigger concerted US and EU sanctions.

He has warned of ‘very serious steps’ if Russia annexes the region. Russia insisted at the UN yesterday it did ‘not want war’ with Ukraine.

—ian@sconews.co.uk

Pic – Ukrainian protestors in Kiev.

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