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Dear Letters Editor,

I see that Mel Stride MP backs 'Boris' in sending two lots of missiles to the Ukraine - MDA last week, one with an 80 km reach.

Has he forgotten our war time leader, and the fight against fascists then?  'Jaw jaw is better than war'.

And does he not know or wish to take into account these facts.

The Minsk agreement thrashed out between Russia, the Ukraine, Germany and France in 2014 agreed that there should be autonomy for the provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk.

That this was quickly broken by Ukraine after the Maidan coup, when a democratically elected President was 'ousted'.  It is recorded that about 14,000 persons - adults, children and soldiers in these two eastern provinces have been killed since 2014.

That about a quarter of the Ukrainian population have Russian as their first tongue, especially in the east.  The former comedian of sorts, Zelensky, and his government have banned Russian in official documents and in the media.  Russian speaking TV and radio outlets have been closed down.

The Russian government finally decided on its 'military operation to de-Nazify the Ukraine', only when Zelensky announced his intention to join NATO, and later to possess nuclear weapons.

US Secretary of State Baker in 1969 assured Russia, at the end then of the Cold War, that NATO would not extend further eastwards.  Instead the encirclement of Russia has continued.

We must look to 'intention'.  In my researches I found a US government document of 2015 recording the approval of a $150 million missile deal with Finland, on the north-west border of the Russian Federation.

The UK and US media fail to remind people, the demos, that 25 million Russians - soldiers and civilians were sacrificed fighting the Nazis.  Victory on the Eastern Front was crucial in defeating the Nazis.  And note that support for Nazi 'ideology' and criminal actions was strong in the Ukraine.  It is embodied still in the Azov battalion there.

Russia should have gone to the UN Security Council over its deep concerns for its security before any military action against Ukrainian forces.

However, one asks Mr Stride why he does not first urge a diplomatic solution.  It is a fact that Russia has offered peace talks several times, but with the caveat that the Ukraine commits to being a neutral state.  And by the way, the Russian economy and ruble is booming, just as the US and Europe's economy dives and many millions are threatened with food and fuel poverty.

David Halpin FRCS

First published in the Mid Devon Advertiser