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Since the launch of the invasion, an estimated half a million people have lost their lives, and the world has faced many other challenges including war in the Middle East that risk Ukraine’s struggle being forgotten.

What hasn’t changed is that an illegal invasion, aimed at changing borders by force matters to New Zealand and every other country that depends on a rules-based international order. The Ukrainians are not only fighting for their survival. They are also fighting for everyone’s freedom.

Since the invasion, Brooke and I have hosted three fundraisers at La Vista restaurant in St Heliers. The proprietor, Nataliya Shchetkova, is a Ukrainian migrant with her own family caught in the conflict. We have raised over $120,000 NZD that has been used in Ukraine to purchase several reconnaissance drones, evacuation boats after the Kakhovka Dam was blown up and the region was flooded, and medevac vehicles along with other clothing and supplies.

This Friday at 12pm we are hosting another fundraiser to mark the two-year anniversary on Saturday. As with previous events, we will have a guest speaker giving insight into what is happening in Ukraine. Mikhailo Lavrovski is part of a medic unit with the Ukrainian Forces will address the lunch by Zoom, and we are in the course of securing a Ukrainian Member of Parliament as a second speaker.

We hope you can purchase tickets today, and are enormously grateful to all who have contributed so far.

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