February 24, 2022 6.15 pm

“You cannot negotiate with dictators”: Lincolnshire reacts to Russian invasion of Ukraine

People in Lincolnshire have been sharing their thoughts

Residents across Lincolnshire have expressed fear and anger at the news of Russia’s large-scale military attack on Ukraine, criticising president Vladimir Putin’s regime and questioning how far sanctions from the UK will actually go to stopping him.

Russian President Vladimir Putin began a military attack on Ukraine‘s Donbas region early on Thursday morning, announcing an operation to “demilitarise and de-Nazify” the neighbouring country.

Missiles and explosions have been heard across Ukraine on Thursday, in what Mr Putin has described as an act of self-defence, urging Ukrainian soldiers to lay down their weapons and go home.

The Donbas region of Eastern Ukraine has been part-occupied and run by Russian-backed rebels since 2014, and conflict resurfaced on Thursday, with Ukraine saying over 40 people are confirmed dead so far.

His claims and actions have been widely criticised by world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Read: ‘We live in dark times’: Lincoln MP speaks out over Ukraine invasion

During a visit to The Lincolnite offices last week, Boris Johnson said RAF Waddington, and Lincolnshire’s military strength would be crucial to monitoring the Ukraine crisis.

The PM examined military resources at the RAF base near Lincoln, praising the “extraordinary machines” kept there.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his interview at The Lincolnite offices. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The Lincolnite asked residents across Lincolnshire for their thoughts on the ongoing situation in Ukraine, with the general consensus being anger at the invasion in the first place, and fear of further attacks to other countries at the hands of Russia.

Salvatore Cannizzaro from Sleaford described the statements released by world leaders as a “barrage of pointless rhetoric” before criticising the timing of response by western leaders.

“We have learned nothing from history in that you cannot negotiate with dictators,” he said. “The west yet again has acted too little too late. Sanctions will have as much effect on the Russians as pointing a spud gun at them will.

“The west’s response to Putin’s very predictable intentions to invade have been puerile and insipid. I feel desperately sorry for the Ukrainians and for their future!”

Simon Burr from Boston called on the UK and other nations to intervene, saying: “We cannot and should not let states invade other sovereign states. It is our responsibility by whatever means to protect the freedom of the people.”

Sandi Adams said it was “awful news to wake up to” and sympathised with the Ukrainian civilians impacted by this conflict.

“Those poor people in their cars trying to get out of there, where are they going to go? I feel so sorry for them. How can one man have all this control? I don’t know how anything will stop him, it’s all very worrying and who knows what he might do.”

However, some people were saying that we should not get involved with the conflict, as it could have dire consequences going forward.

Neil Potterton said: “It’s not our problem, we should stay out of it otherwise we could soon be invaded ourselves”, while Sylvia Seabrook argued that the UK is under threat whether they get involved or not.

She said: “Ukrainian people are just like us, lives and families just like us. This appalling act resonates with the events leading to the Second World War, we have an evil corrupt megalomaniac running wild just now and in my view this is a real threat to us all.”

Liam Chop said the United Kingdom is at a crossroads and must decide which path to take, either imposing sanctions or threatening a military response.

“We have two choices – sanctions, which probably won’t achieve much, or sabre rattling, which could end in war. War against a nuclear nation is not something I like to think about”, he said.