We, members of the European Forum for Urban Security, stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February has left many Europeans with grim comparisons to events that led to the horrors of the previous century.
No words are strong enough to condemn Vladimir Putin’s cynical disregard of international order, blatant lies to justify the assault, and his belligerent indifference to the suffering of Ukrainians and of his own citizens.
However, it is not just the display of aggression which evokes historical parallels, but the solidarity demonstrated by European cities, too.
During the Second World War, the concept of town twinning emerged, establishing solidarity links between cities in allied countries who suffered devastating events.
Today again, European cities are refusing to be reduced to mere observers.
From Vilnius to Lisbon, from Malmö to Turin, from Paris to Gdańsk, Efus’ members and their citizens are responding to war in Ukraine by setting up donation points, providing psychosocial support, repurposing schools and offering homes to host Ukrainian refugees.
There is nothing as meaningful as cities helping cities and citizens helping citizens in the face of human suffering.
There is nothing as senseless as war.