City Hall lights up in support of Ukraine 

An Irish member of the European Parliament has called on the Irish Government to expel Russian ambassador Yury Filatov.
City Hall lights up in support of Ukraine 

The City Hall, flying the Irish and Ukrainian flags, and illuminated in the Ukraine colours. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

An Irish member of the European Parliament has called on the Irish Government to expel Russian ambassador Yury Filatov.

Ireland South MEP Billy Kelleher called on Ireland to “take the lead” adding that the EU should follow suit and do the same.

Speaking to The Echo, Mr Kelleher said: 

“I strongly believe it is time the entire European Union showed the door to the ambassadors that are standing over Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of a peaceful, sovereign, independent country, and who are his mouthpieces, and I fervently believe they should be sent packing back to Moscow.” 

Mr Kelleher also said he believed Ireland’s historic military neutrality did not mean the country should ignore injustice in the world.

Others, including the Sinn Féin party, have also called for his expulsion.

Claims 

Mr Filatov has claimed his country's invasion of Ukraine is a "humanitarian intervention".

He said there was no proof that Russian forces had targeted civilians in the assault. He claimed Ukraine had used engagement in diplomacy in recent times as a cover for preparing an offensive on the Donbas region of the country.

"There was no other choice to end the suffering of Donbas through real humanitarian intervention - that's what this special operation is exactly about," he told RTÉ.

"The only aim of the operation is to neutralise the ability of the Ukrainian military to inflict any more suffering on Donbas. Ukrainians should not be afraid of that."

Kyiv in firing line 

Last night, Russian troops were bearing down on Ukraine's capital.

Amid growing casualties - including shelling that sliced through a Kyiv apartment building, bridges and schools - were increasing signs that Moscow may be seeking to overthrow Ukraine's government, in Vladimir Putin's boldest effort yet to redraw the world map and revive Moscow's Cold War-era influence.

It was unclear how much of the country remained under Ukrainian control and how much Russian forces have seized.

The US and other global powers slapped ever-tougher sanctions on Russia as the invasion reverberated through the world's economy and energy supplies, threatening to further squeeze ordinary households.

Meanwhile, Independent Cork city councillor Kieran McCarthy has said he will be using his position on the European Committee of the Regions (COR) to lobby the European Commission and Parliament to issue humanitarian aid to Ukrainian people.

Mr McCarthy, who is President of the European Alliance Group, COR, said Europe needs to respond.

“It shouldn’t be a case of leaving the Ukrainians to their own devices when it comes to food and water and even bolster those that are helping in Eastern Poland and Moldova, we all need to come together now.” 

The Cork councillor said as President of the European Alliance Group with COR he has called for discussion next week at the conference of Presidents in the South of France.

Mr McCarthy said that we have a huge humanitarian crisis on our hands.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more