Our duty to Ukrainian refugees matters more than political spats over visa rules – The Yorkshire Post says

THE HUMAN tide of Ukrainians fleeing their besieged homeland is a painful reminder of the scale of the unfolding refugee crisis as Europe faces its greatest security crisis in peacetime.

Predominantly women and children because their husbands, fathers and brothers have remained to fight for their country, it is the warmth of the welcome being afforded to them that does offer a flicker of hope.

And their humility is now matched by the humanity being shown by families in democratic countries bordering Ukraine now offering safe haven to strangers left with nothing other than the clothes that they wear and can carry.

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Yet, while Britain’s response has been robust, the weekend spat between senior Tory and Labour politicians over the status of Ukrainian refugees was unbecoming of this country.

A man hugs his twin boys after they fled the conflict from neighbouring Ukraine at the Romanian-Ukrainian border, in Siret, Romania, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022.

As the world witnesses scenes in Kyiv and other cities that have eerie comparisons with Britain’s fight for freedom in the Second World War, now is not the time for the UK government to procrastinate.

As well as offering support to the Ukrainian community already established here, and who can draw heart from weekend vigils, church services and sporting event, the application of visa rules should reflect the gravity of current events.

Meanwhile the military aid and logistical support being offered to Ukraine needs to be matched by humanitarian support to Poland, Hungary, Romania and other nations now dealing with a refugee crisis not envisaged a week ago.

After all, it is the unity of the global response, and the heroism of Ukrainian freedom fighters, that has already seen Russia become an international pariah.

Refugees fleeing conflict in Ukraine arrive at the Medyka border crossing, in Poland, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022.

And as Foreign Secretary Liz Truss warns that Europe face a protracted war for peace and democracy, it has never been more urgent for every nation to play a full part in the humanitarian response, including Britain.

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Refugees fleeing conflict from neighboring Ukraine arrive to Zahony, Hungary, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. Street fighting broke out in Ukraine's second-largest city Sunday and Russian troops put increasing pressure on strategic ports in the country's south following a wave of attacks on airfields and fuel facilities elsewhere that appeared to mark a new phase of Russia's invasion. (AP Photo/Anna Szilagyi).