MP James Wild: Ukraine scenes in Bucha the latest of many atrocities
The scenes from Ukraine are as painful to watch today as they were when Putin launched this war over a month ago.
The images of dead bodies with hands and feet tied left beside the road in Bucha are very sadly simply the latest in so many terrible acts. Despite what Kremlin apologists say, there is no doubt that Russian forces are committing atrocities.
We know that thanks to the work of journalists and citizen reporters capturing these events in dangerous circumstances.
But it is also the use of satellite imagery that provides compelling evidence. That commercially available information in combination with greater openness and publication of intelligence by the UK and our allies is showing the most accurate picture of the war as it unfolds.
This openness marks a shift from the mindset of keeping intelligence secret which was common when I advised the then Defence Secretary and advocated for using more of the information our agencies had developed to expose the actions of Russia, and other countries. By not only revealing the truth that Russia wants to hide, but by revealing plans for chemical weapon attacks this tactic is influencing events.
It is essential we do more to help people fleeing Ukraine. Although the process is too slow, 30,000 visas in total have been issued and the first Ukrainians have arrived in Norfolk.
Some Ukrainians have already come to Lynn to be with their families. Many more people have signed up to the Homes for Ukraine route and are rightly frustrated at the delay in approving visas and I continue to try and expedite applications on behalf of constituents.
As the process for issuing visas quickens it is important that there is a proper welcome when people arrive. So I was pleased to visit the new welcome centre based at the borough council’s King’s Court office to support refugees. In partnership with the county council, Department of Work and Pensions, and other agencies, this will offer a range of specialist services with advice on jobs, schools, and more they may need. It also incorporates the Lily service which demonstrated its value during the Covid pandemic and lockdowns.
With the House of Commons in recess, I have been able to take part in more visits locally. Last Friday saw the launch of the new West Norfolk Autism Group which helps support autistic adults and children.
Over the last year the Lynn News has done a huge amount to improve people’s understanding of autism with its weekly features on individuals and their families. The charity is run entirely by volunteers and Karen the founder told me that today the group supports over 600 families – up from 150 a few years ago.
This is another example of the strength of our community. If you need support or can support them please visit https://www.westnorfolkautismgroup.org.uk.
James Wild MP