Last week President Putin launched a war in Europe with his invasion of Ukraine.

This is the largest combined-arms operation seen in Europe since 1945.

This attack is an attack on a sovereign nation, and an attack on European democracy.

What we have seen in Ukraine’s response is that they will not simply accept Russian invasion, the armed forces and Ukrainian civilians have shown intense bravery in the face of brazen aggression. We must help Ukrainians the best way we can.

Labour have made clear that we support the government in the sanctions they have taken against Russia – but can and should go further.

Keir Starmer has emphasised our commitment to NATO and reinforcing our Eastern Flank. Our shadow Defence Secretary has condemned Russia’s actions in the strongest possible terms, and has re-iterated Labour’s support for all those Ukrainians who are fighting Russian invasion. The unified actions of our front-bench in their support for sanctions makes me proud to serve in the Shadow Defence team at this time.

The actions of Putin are actions of a tyrant, and the UK has a proud history of uniting to stand up to such thugs.

We will continue to do so.

Implementing full, hard-hitting sanctions will have an impact at home, and it is something we must prepare ourselves for. As Keir Starmer said in his address to the nation, “the British public have always been willing to make sacrifices to defend democracy on our continent, and we will again”.

Closer to home in Wales, many people will have family and friends in Ukraine.

I know they will be very concerned during this worrying time. In a time of such distress, it is important that communities check in with each other, and that we stand together to support Ukraine. Wales and Ukraine have many historical links with our shared iron and coal industries. In fact, the Ukranian city of Donetsk was founded by Welsh ironmaster John Hughes.

Wales has a proud history of supporting those in need and I know we will all want to do the same now.

For those who can, these are some ways in which you can give support to those in Ukraine.

Donating to UNICEF to aid them in their work is one way to help. UNICEF is working to scale up programmes in Eastern Ukraine to deliver safe water to conflict zones, and to provide immediate help to families and children in need.

Sunflower of Peace is another charity that has is working to help Ukrainians, by gathering medical supplies for paramedics and doctors on the front line. The British Red Cross has also launched an urgent appeal to help Ukraine.

We have taken peace in Europe for granted since the end of the cold war. This invasion will have long-lasting consequences, and it is important that we stand together, as a community, to show our support for the Ukrainian people. Putin would like to see the west divided, and to weaken our alliances. We will not allow him to succeed.