Six months since the start of the 24 February Russian war against Ukraine, OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Foreign Minister of Poland Zbigniew Rau on 24 August renewed his call on the Russian Federation to immediately put an end to the unprovoked violence and stop the tragic suffering and loss of life it continues to cause.

“Over the past six months, the unprovoked war the Russian Federation launched against Ukraine has brought indescribable destruction and suffering. We have seen thousands of innocent people die in the face of indiscriminate attacks all across Ukraine,” Minister Rau said.

“The Russian attacks aimed at critical infrastructure have left millions of civilians without access to vital services and resources. The Russian aggression has displaced millions of people, causing the biggest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II. Women and children, in particular, are put at greater risk of trafficking by being forced to flee their homes,” the Chairman said.

He also raised the appalling issue of the so-called filtration operations. Minister Rau condemned widespread detentions and forced deportation of Ukrainian citizens to Russia.

“The war against Ukraine is unjustifiable and unacceptable.  It is a clear violation of international law and every principle on which our Organization was founded. It must stop immediately,” Chairman Rau said.

OSCE Chairman-in-Office Rau called on the participating States to uphold their commitments to the OSCE’s fundamental principles and work together for peace and security. He also reaffirmed that the OSCE remains committed to supporting Ukraine’s population in these challenging times.

On 2 August, OSCE Chairman-in-Office Rau and Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid announced a new OSCE support programme for Ukraine. The support programme, which sets out the implementation of some 25 projects, will build on the OSCE’s work in Ukraine over the past three decades and will support the country in areas including demining, environmental protections, and humanitarian needs.