“Peace is its own reward”.
With profound sadness and deep sorrow, we watch the events in Ukraine, literally as they unfold. The history is complex, and the politics at times may seem impenetrable to foreign observers. One thing is clear however: innocent children and their families are being tormented and murdered every day, and for them, in an instant, life changes forever.
Our colleagues in Kharkiv and Kyiv are under constant bombardment, and civilians are being targeted. The destruction of the Mariupol Maternity Hospital (with the newborn unit operational) is a war crime by any reasonable definition, and just one example.
This war pits technically advanced military teams against civilians. Even the survivors often lose everything, and a humanitarian refugee crisis of epic proportions has developed. World economic collapse is a constant threat. Coming on top of the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation appears dire, and far from over.
Lost in this chaos are children needing urgent medical attention. All military initiatives are hugely resource-intensive, and the patients that we all live to help are thus further disadvantaged, as are their healthy counterparts. Ultimately, availability of paediatric cardiac surgery (and other critical paediatric services) could be adversely affected in both countries, for years to come.
The Editorial Board of Cardiology in the Young acknowledges the excellent past clinical work and scientific contributions of our colleagues in both Ukraine and Russia. We offer our sympathy and support to all Ukranian people during this present crisis. We strongly condemn the unprovoked military action by Russia against Ukraine. The end game, if there is one, is in no way justified by the means, whatever the historical perspective or political interpretation. It is the antithesis of what we do every day as paediatric health care workers.
Mr. Putin, stop the killing now.