We endlessly hope that mankind can leave depraved brutality behind. We are sadly proved wrong, equally endlessly. We all fear the atrocities committed in Bucha are no “one off” and that similar actions will be discovered across occupied Ukraine. Actions that should shame any Government, let alone a permanent member of the United Nations security council. I would beg anyone who even for a scintilla of a second wants to believe Russian disinformation that the massacre is make-believe: please look at the BBC analysis. There is no doubt.
I have been deeply impressed by the reaction of members of the Ukrainian Government who I know. They show, I am pleased to say, no desire to take out their anger on Russians who are as helpless as their own civilians murdered in cold blood. They simply want to win, to beat Putin and liberate their homeland, that is their sole focus. We continue to provide them with support in this desperate time.
The same Ministers are proud that cafes and entertainments are reopening in Kyiv – to have friendships, to mix, to be together are elements that make us human and help our societies to gell.
We all missed those shared live experiences during Covid. I realised as I attended a brilliant production of “Little Voice” at the Capitol how long it has been since I saw a play. It was great that such a good show was being put on locally – a class act which reminds us what we were missing. Theatre is not just about watching but performing – it was lovely seeing how enthusiastic the Tanbridge students were about their forthcoming “High School Musical” when I visited them last week, an opportunity sadly missed by a generation of pupils.
We are enormously lucky to have such a profusion of local cultural events and they are springing back to life post Covid. From the Shipley Music Festival to the smallest of local pub “open mikes” there is a huge amount going on: last weekend the Horsham Chamber Concert and the Christ Hospital Concert for Ukraine, the West Sussex Philharmonic Choir coming up and for Easter “The Messiah” by the Billingshurst Choral Society, Stainer’s Crucifixion in St Mary’s and so much else beside. There can be few comparable areas with such a rich cultural landscape – and I am very conscious of the vast number of events and societies from Amateur Drama and Opera to choral societies to folk to silver bands. I simply can’t name them all but you know who you are and it’s great to see the advertising posters going up!