As the Ukraine death toll continues to rise and Russian assault intensifies, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan have released a statement condemning Russian president Vladimir Putin for his war on Ukraine.
In a message posted to their nonprofit Archewell’s website, the couple and their foundation team urged world leaders to make their stance clear on the war between the two European nations, stating that they “stand with the people of Ukraine.”
“Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and all of us at Archewell stand with the people of Ukraine against this breach of international and humanitarian law and encourage the global community and its leaders to do the same,” the statement read.
From the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their team at the Archewell Foundation: pic.twitter.com/kd9vs9suJS— Omid Scobie (@scobie) February 24, 2022
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Since stepping back from their senior royal roles, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have freely expressed views on issues British royals usually consider political matters that require neutrality (and silence). The pair were outspoken advocates during the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, have campaigned for the Stop Hate for Profit movement, and rallied action to “alleviate suffering” and “prove our humanity” in the context of the 2021 Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and humanitarian disaster in Haiti.
Their philanthropic and advocacy efforts were acknowledged on February 26, at the 53rd NAACP Image Awards, where the Sussexes eceived the prestigious President’s Award for their public service. The couple also attended the ceremony to launch the first NAACP-Archewell Digital Civil Rights Award, which recognizes leaders “creating transformational change.” The inaugural recipient is author and UCLA professor Dr. Safiya Noble, who has pioneered the study of how digital technologies intersect with culture, race, and gender.
Though other members of the British royal family continue to remain silent on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there are royals across Europe who have quickly responded after Putin’s troops bombarded airports and seized areas such as the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands wrote that their “hearts go out to the people of Ukraine and everyone affected by the violence.” And Spain’s King Felipe called the attacks a “totally unjustified aggression of unprecedented seriousness and a flagrant violation of international law that risks global security and stability.”
Last night, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky announced that 137 people had been killed and 316 wounded, as Russia launched a full-scale invasion on the country.
This morning, February 25, heavy exchanges of fire and heavy Russian shelling continue to take place across a number of Ukrainian regions, including Kharkiv, Odessa, and Donetsk.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.