Syrians in solidarity with Ukraine on one-year anniversary of Russian invasion

Syrians in solidarity with Ukraine on one-year anniversary of Russian invasion
Syrians said the West's failure to act on Putin's aggressions in Syria, led to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
3 min read
24 February, 2023
Syrians calls for global support have mostly fallen on deaf ears [Getty]

Syrians voiced solidarity with Ukrainians on Friday, to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Thousands of Syrians showed support for Ukraine on social media, pointing out that both countries have been victims of Russian aggression, often targeting civilian areas.

Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, following earlier interventions in Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk, and began bombing opposition areas of Syria in September 2015. 

Thousands of civilians have been killed in the Russian onslaughts in both countries since then.

"One year on, we stand with the brave people of #Ukraine. The horror and civilian bloodshed that has unfolded since Putin’s invasion first began came as no surprise to #Syrians who are all too familiar with #Russian brutality and war crimes," tweeted The Syria Campaign.

"The world’s failure to stand up to Putin brought us to where we are today. As the conflict enters its second year we send strength and solidarity to Ukrainians and demand that Putin and perpetrators of war crimes everywhere are held accountable #StandWithUkraine."

Majd Khalaf, a Syrian activist and White Helmet volunteer, also tweeted a message of solidarity to the people of Ukraine.

"We stand with Ukraine and will always #StandWithUkraine As free Syrians, since Russia invaded #Ukraine we are thinking of them, all solidarity and #SlavaUkraini We are well aware of Russia and its crimes in Syria. We are still suffering from Russia and the Assad, Glory to Ukraine," he said.

On Thursday, the UN General Assembly voted to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with 141 voting in favour, 32 abstaining, and seven against.

Among the seven countries to oppose to the motion was Syria, whose regime was viewed on the brink of military collapse before the Russian intervention.

Russia used cluster bombs, double-tap strikes, and targeted schools and hospitals during its eight-year blitz on opposition areas of Syria, tactics employed in Ukraine over the past year.

"#Russia is still using its #Syria playbook in #Ukraine: widespread human rights violations, inhuman besiegement of major cities, global misinformation campaigns to create confusion, targeting the health sector and other vital infrastructure, and supporting identity-based violence," Mazen Gharibah, Executive Manager at the Syrian British Consortium, tweeted.

Around half a million people have been killed in the Syrian war, most of them civilians, victims of Syrian regime shelling and bombing.

Thousands of Syrians are believed to have been killed in Russian airstrikes, particularly during its support for Assad regime ground offensives in East Aleppo, Idlib, Daraa, and Eastern Ghouta.

Rights groups have also noted shocking abuses of civilians in Ukraine by Russian forces.