Ukrainians, Russians in Australia unite against Putin’s war | Russia-Ukraine crisis News

Ukrainian and Russian communities in Australia have come collectively in outcry since Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine.

Protests have taken place throughout Australia, gathering crowds of Ukrainians and supporters.

As Russian forces shut in on Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, many in Australia really feel helpless within the face of a army offensive so important that leaders are warning of “ramifications effectively past Europe”.

Two of the ladies behind the marches and rallies in Melbourne mentioned that they’re “nonetheless in a state of shock”.

Liana Slipetsky and Teresa Lachowicz led a whole lot of individuals to the steps of parliament in Melbourne final week in protest in opposition to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Us Ukrainians right here in Australia, we really feel helpless and considerably privileged,” mentioned Slipetsky. “And… it’s simply the 2 don’t go collectively.

“We are able to’t even ship monetary help,” she continued, including that family and friends on the bottom in Ukraine “can’t get money out of ATMs”.

“All I’ve supplied them is to purchase airplane tickets for them, or if they should relocate I’m completely happy to search out them lodging,” she mentioned, “Apart from that, I’m simply misplaced for phrases… I’m simply shell-shocked.”

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‘Ukraine lastly had an opportunity’

Lachowicz and Slipetsky have been each born in Australia to folks who had fled the Soviet Union.

They fear for Ukraine’s future, fearing that “historical past is repeating itself”.

“[Ukraine was] simply beginning to stand on its ft, economically, culturally, democratically, socially,” mentioned Slipetsky. “Ukraine lastly had an opportunity.”

Lachowicz mentioned she fears for her politically lively buddies who would probably be targets beneath a Russian regime.

“Then there’s the Ukrainian church, that might be decimated,” mentioned Lachowicz. “The LGBTIQ group might be crucified. All the indignities that Russian folks undergo, Ukrainians will now be topic to once more, all of the freedoms that we take without any consideration, they are going to be stripped.”

One other Ukrainian-Australian, Lesia (title modified over security considerations), mentioned Ukrainians “don’t need to… be part of some union”.

“We’re on social media, we watch programmes, learn books and information from Russia and we all know that there isn’t a freedom of speech, that they’ll’t stand opposition,” she mentioned.

She fears for her household primarily based in Russia and Ukraine.

On the bottom, Russian forces have entered Kyiv with combating breaking out on the town’s streets. Individuals are involved about operating out of meals, she mentioned.

“Individuals are nervous in the intervening time about their lack of ability to flee, and [lack] of petrol as a result of the queues are monumental.”

She mentioned that a few of her family members in Kyiv have fled whereas others have stayed.

“I’ve simply heard from my brother that [my flat] was beneath heavy shelling simply three hours in the past,” she added. “On our road, there was artillery and the manufacturing facility that we will see from our kitchen window was on hearth.”

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Peter Kuzmin, a Russian-Australian and president of the Victoria department of the Svoboda Alliance, a pro-democracy motion of Russian audio system throughout Australia and New Zealand, grew up in the course of the anti-war sentiments attributable to the previous Soviet Union.

“I actually believed in [it],” he mentioned. “There have been all these slogans in all places that ‘We don’t need conflict, conflict is the worst factor that may occur.’”

The trauma of World Battle II was additionally nonetheless felt amongst his technology – his grandfather was badly wounded within the conflict – and the idea of Russia being traditionally a defender in opposition to invasion grew to become a part of his id.

“I may by no means think about that my nation could be an invader itself,” he mentioned. “I couldn’t think about it in my worst nightmares… after which the fact set in that Russian bombs have been falling throughout Ukraine, and never simply alongside that disputed territory, however in all places.”

Kuzmin has been standing up in opposition to the conflict, serving to to coordinate protests with the Svoboda Alliance and the Ukrainian-Australian group.

“Ukrainians are our brothers,” he mentioned. “There’s such an in depth cultural affinity. All that logic that Putin has used to assault Ukraine, for me, it’s the justification to not assault Ukraine.

“It’s the justification for why we have to dwell as unbiased and equal nations with mutual respect and cooperation,” he continued. “That’s the best way to create a type of a union, if the folks need [a union]. That’s the way you do it. You don’t do it by power.”

Dr Michael Baron, one other Russian-Australian, mentioned that there was “no rational logic” to the invasion and “it’s not clear what he’s [Putin] aiming to attain”.

Baron mentioned he was not politically inclined till Russia’s invasion of Ukraine however the latest occasions made him really feel very concerned.

“The madman has no logic, or has his personal type of logic, and with Putin, something is feasible,” he mentioned. “It’s not about him being evil, it’s about him being mad.”

Kuzmin agreed with Baron, saying “we actually have a suicidal maniac with a messianic complicated… [Putin] is indifferent from actuality”.

He added that Putin had additionally misjudged the extent of assist he would get from his personal folks.

Kuzmin mentioned he’s a part of a WhatsApp group of childhood buddies and he posted an “impassioned speech” within the group, “absolutely anticipating… some may be supporting the conflict”.

“No person. No person in that chat supported the conflict,” he mentioned. “There have been individuals who mentioned that they’ll’t imagine this [is] occurring, they need to do one thing however they’re scared, they’re afraid to protest, they’re saying that the dangers are so excessive.”

In Russia, a minimum of 3,000 folks have been arrested over protests in opposition to the conflict.

Kuzmin mentioned that is what is required to cease Putin: an rebellion from the Russians.

“I’m actually hoping that it’ll improve,” he mentioned. “I actually hope that individuals will begin opposing the conflict effort… by no matter methods they’ll.”

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He is not going to cease at Ukraine

Lachowicz and Slipetsky, in the meantime, mentioned the conflict could be very a lot a Western conflict too and “challenges the world order”.

“The peace [and stability] of the world as we all know it as we speak may doubtlessly be modified endlessly,” mentioned Slipetsky. “Europe as we all know it might be not.”

Melbourne-based Ukrainian-Australian Yuriy Verkhatsky, agreed, speculating that Putin “is not going to cease at Ukraine” and the Baltic area might be subsequent, adopted by Poland.

Many really feel that the West just isn’t doing sufficient within the face of this menace.

Sanctions have been positioned on Russia, with Biden stepping in on Friday to affix Europe in even tighter sanctions, inserting restrictions on Putin, his overseas minister and members of his safety group.

Australia has additionally instigated direct sanctions on Putin and positioned monetary punitive measures on members of Russian politicians and oligarchs.

However whereas diplomatic motion could also be efficient within the long-term, mentioned Verkhatsky, it’s not sufficient within the brief time period.

“Possibly they’ll really feel [the] results of these sanctions in a 12 months, however when the mad prison assaults you with arms, [something really serious] must be carried out proper now,” he mentioned, including that the folks behind Russia’s assault “don’t care about lives… of Russians, Ukrainians, of anyone.”

For Baron, this fast motion has additionally obtained to be extra unified. The broader world must also “begin shifting in direction of a whole elimination of dependence from the Russian power provides”, he mentioned.

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‘What number of lives might be misplaced?’

The clock is ticking as Ukraine fights to stave off Russia’s intensifying assault, battling army forces on the very streets of its capital metropolis.

Whereas Verkhatsky firmly believes that Ukraine would be the eventual winner of the conflict, he stays nervous in regards to the lack of life.

“The query is, what number of lives might be misplaced?” he mentioned.

Greater than 150,000 Ukrainians have fled the nation since Russia launched the invasion final week, and greater than 200 folks have been killed, together with youngsters.

“There may be a whole lot of 1000’s [of] lives misplaced and quite a lot of injury might be brought about,” mentioned Verkhatsky, who added that he desires to talk out in no matter means he can. “Each little drop issues.”

For Slipetsky and Lachowicz, that is the one means ahead. Extra marches are going down throughout Australia this weekend and within the coming weeks.

What Ukraine lacks in army energy, it makes up in patriotism, mentioned Slipetsky. “All now we have is our phrases, so now we have to talk to as many individuals [as possible].”

Cricket: Australia arrive in Pakistan for first tour in 24 years | Cricket News

Australian staff begins first tour of the South Asian nation in practically quarter of a century amid tight safety for his or her six-week keep.

Australia’s cricket staff has flown into Pakistan on their first tour of the nation in practically 1 / 4 of a century – and right into a safety bubble that may envelop them all through their six-week keep.

Pakistan have struggled to draw visiting sides since a deadly terror assault on the visiting Sri Lanka staff’s bus in 2009.

Australia pulled out of a tour 5 years earlier after a suicide blast at a Lahore church.

They final performed in Pakistan in 1998, profitable a three-Take a look at sequence 1-0 and blanking the hosts within the three one-day internationals.

“They’ve landed,” a Pakistani safety official stated whereas Australia batsman Steve Smith posted an image on Twitter saying the staff had arrived.

Australia will play three Checks, three one-day internationals, and one Twenty20 match earlier than leaving on April 6.

Having been compelled to play their residence video games overseas – primarily within the United Arab Emirates – Pakistan appeared to have reassured worldwide cricket authorities final 12 months, with each New Zealand and England scheduled to tour.

However the Black Caps swiftly departed in September simply minutes earlier than their first match was because of begin, citing safety fears. England postponed excursions by their males’s and ladies’s groups quickly after.

The choices incensed Pakistan cricket authorities, who felt they’d finished all the pieces doable to make sure security and safety.

They are saying they’re once more leaving nothing to probability, with practically 4,000 police and army personnel guarding the staff resort in Islamabad and the cricket stadium within the close by garrison metropolis of Rawalpindi.

‘Head of state-level’ safety

“The squad will probably be given ‘head of state-level safety’,” a spokesman for Pakistan’s inside ministry instructed the AFP information company.

“Such preparations are solely made for high-level international delegations, [and] the president and prime minister of Pakistan.”

Roads will probably be blocked off when the Australians make the 15km (9-mile) commute, with their staff bus shadowed by military helicopters.

Snipers will probably be positioned on buildings surrounding the stadium, whereas close by outlets and places of work have been ordered to shut on match days, the inside ministry stated.

Related preparations will probably be in place for matches in Karachi and Lahore.

The Australians will probably be confined to quarters for twenty-four hours after arrival for COVID-19 exams, earlier than intense coaching forward of the primary Take a look at beginning March 4.

“We’ve obtained to a spot the place everybody hopping on the aircraft is comfy with the place it’s all sitting,” Australian skipper Pat Cummins stated forward of the staff’s departure from Sydney.

“It’s been a extremely thorough physique of labor that the safety and the logistics groups have labored via.”

Nearly half of Pakistan’s 220 million individuals weren’t even born the final time Australia toured, however stadiums are anticipated to be packed because the nation emerges comparatively unscathed from the Omicron stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pakistan are because of host eight Checks, 11 ODIs and 13 Twenty20 internationals within the subsequent 13 months.

How a gay man from Singapore found acceptance in Australia | LGBTQ News

Melbourne, Australia – “I knew one thing was totally different from the time I used to be very younger,” stated Ian Row from his dwelling in Melbourne, Australia.

“There was that consciousness and consciousness that I felt otherwise to boys than I did to women. I knew I used to be totally different.”

Initially from Singapore, 54-year-old Row is a homosexual man who has been dwelling in Australia – a rustic the place the LGBTIQ group not too long ago acknowledged the fortieth anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality – for practically 20 years.

However again in Singapore, LGBTIQ individuals stay topic to Part 377A of the nation’s Penal Code, a 1938 regulation that criminalises intercourse between males as an “act of gross indecency” punishable with as a lot as two years in jail.

In 2007, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong stated that his authorities wouldn’t “proactively implement” 377A, however throughout Row’s time within the city-state, the scenario was very totally different.

“You didn’t speak about [being gay],” he stated. “You didn’t wish to ‘out’ your self since you would make your self susceptible and open to abuse, or worse – bother with the police.”

“That concern is one thing you take in, and it turns into a part of your id and impacts the best way you reside your life.”

In 1997, an LGBTIQ group group Ian helped discovered was threatened with being publicly outed.

It turned the catalyst for Row to maneuver completely to Australia, the place he had beforehand been finding out. It was there that he felt extra snug dwelling as a homosexual man.

“A variety of us had been freaked out and a variety of us withdrew from the general public entrance,” he stated. “I felt I used to be going to crumble dwelling in Singapore.”

Discrimination, stigma

377A was inherited from the British who dominated Singapore as a colony till 1963. Different former colonies, now members of a free grouping of countries generally known as the Commonwealth, have additionally held onto laws that criminalises intercourse between males.

And whereas the Singaporean authorities has stated it is not going to implement 377A, Clement Tan, a spokesperson for Singapore-based LGBTIQ rights group Pink Dot, says it must go additional and repeal the regulation due to the local weather that it creates.

A portrait of Ian Row wearing a red sweater and standing in his kitchen Ian Row has lived in Australia for 20 years the place he says he feels extra snug dwelling as a homosexual man [Ali MC/Al Jazeera]

“377A’s results transcend the specter of prosecution. Many essential insurance policies that influence the LGBTQ+ group on a day-to-day foundation hinge off its continued presence,” he stated.

“From media censorship to the absence of goal intercourse training, the trickle-down results of 377A entrench discriminatory views premised on concern and ignorance.”

Tan says that 377A has been embraced by the extra conservative and spiritual parts of Singapore society, usually below the rhetoric of “Asian” or “household values”.

This perspective was mirrored within the prime minister’s speech again in 2007.

“Singapore is principally a conservative society,” Lee stated. “The household is the essential constructing block of this society. And by household in Singapore, we imply one man, one girl marrying, having kids and citing kids inside that framework of a steady household unit.”

Tan stated that public assist of such values has meant that “conservative teams in Singapore are emboldened by the shortage of motion taken by the federal government.”

“More and more, they’ve begun to tackle the duty of ‘imposing’ the discriminatory spirit of 377A privately and horizontally via their very own ethical policing of society.”

Solely final month, Samsung pulled a web-based commercial in Singapore depicting a Muslim mom hugging her drag queen son after an uproar on-line from extra conservative members of society.

“Repealing 377A will little question pave the best way to a extra inclusive society that respects particular person dignity, alternative, and expression,” Tan advised Al Jazeera.

In 2020, 377A was additional upheld by the Supreme Court docket in response to a authorized problem arguing that the laws was unconstitutional.

The case is now earlier than the Appeals Court docket, with the result nonetheless to be determined.

In different elements of Asia, nations together with Malaysia and Indonesia preserve a hardline, whereas there was a shift elsewhere.

India, which additionally inherited legal guidelines from the British, decriminalised same-sex relations in 2018, whereas Taiwan legalised same-sex marriage in 2019.

Nonetheless, colonial period legal guidelines criminalising same-sex relations live on in 71 nations, based on the Human Dignity Belief — and practically half of them are members of the Commonwealth.

In 11 jurisdictions, the dying penalty will be imposed or stays a risk for homosexuality.

People gather at Hong Lim Park in Singapore with balloons spelling out 'Pin, Dot' the name of the eventSingapore has the annual ‘Pink Dot’ celebration to boost consciousness about homosexual rights points in Singapore. International firms are banned from sponsoring the occasion and non-Singaporeans are usually not allowed to participate [File: Wong Maye-E/AP Photo]

Victoria Vasey from Human Dignity Belief advised Al Jazeera that the continuation of such legal guidelines implies that LGBTIQ communities proceed to be stigmatised and topic to discriminatory behaviour.

“In some jurisdictions, LGBT individuals are arrested and imprisoned on the premise of those legal guidelines,” she stated.

“Even the place arrests are much less widespread, LGBT individuals are subjected to violence, abuse, harassment and that violence, harassment and abuse just about occurs with impunity due to the existence of those legal guidelines.”

Whereas 377A particularly criminalises the sexual act between males – and never merely the particular person’s sexual desire – “the notion of many individuals is that it’s unlawful to be homosexual,” Vasey advised Al Jazeera.

“And that’s extremely damaging and an enormous burden to stay with whether or not or not the legal guidelines are enforced.”

Rising acceptance

Again in Australia, the repeal of such laws has not solely led to better acceptance of the LGBTQI group, together with same-sex marriage, however has additionally elevated assist for individuals who might really feel remoted because of their sexuality.

The annual Delight Parade and Midsumma Pageant, which has simply concluded, are expressions of the range of gender and sexuality and a chance for the LGBTQI group to search out assist.

Karen Bryant, CEO of the Midsumma Pageant, advised Al Jazeera that “the entire objective of coming collectively – the significance of gathering – is a method of serving to to deal with these emotions of isolation.”

She stated that whereas the fortieth anniversary of the repeal of laws criminalising homosexuality was “an essential milestone” it was “a step alongside the journey.”

“There’s nonetheless a variety of ongoing authorized and social debates, which threaten primary human rights and the well being and wellbeing of our numerous communities,” she stated.

In 2017, Australia additionally amended the Marriage Act to recognise same-sex marriages.

“The end result of the vote itself there was this enormous euphoria and feeling of reduction, and virtually disbelief, as a result of it was such a very long time coming,” Bryant stated.

She advised Al Jazeera that the modification of such laws meant a better consciousness and acceptance of the LGBTIQ group, however there remained work to be carried out, particularly within the office and group organisations.

“Individuals will at all times be their greatest selves after they can actually be themselves and really feel secure in doing so,” she stated.

Row says that he’s “happier” as a homosexual man dwelling in Australia the place the modification of legal guidelines equivalent to 377A has paved the best way for better acceptance.

“I do really feel that I can stay a extra genuine and fuller life as me right here [in Australia],” he stated.

a bare chested man walks withe rainbow flag at the Pride March in Melbourne earlier this momthThe annual Delight Parade and Midsumma Pageant are a celebration of range [Ali MC/Al Jazeera]

And whereas former British Prime Minister Theresa Could has stated that she “deeply regrets” Britain’s legacy of anti-gay legal guidelines, Row believes the UK ought to take extra duty for among the extra unsavoury colonial legal guidelines it left behind.

“377A remains to be inflicting grief to hundreds of thousands of individuals around the globe,” Row stated. “The least [the British Government] might do is advocate for a repeal of those legal guidelines among the many Commonwealth nations.”