THE true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him,’ G.K. Chesterton.

Chesterton’s words strike a chord as what is so evident to us all from the media reports playing out across our television screens is the utter determination of the Ukrainian politicians, Army and its 40 million-strong population to resist the Russian occupation with all their might, down to the very last drop of their blood if needs be.

Over the last week, we have all witnessed the terrible advent of war in Ukraine at the hands of Putin, the long-time dictator who has assumed control of what is one of the biggest nuclear powers in the world today. The stakes could hardly be higher for the world order.

Fine Ukrainian streets lie in tatters, bodies of civilians as well as soldiers from both sides, are in the streets. Countless lives have been shattered and over one million people, mostly women and children, have fled their homeland for the safety of Europe’s bordering countries.

Meanwhile, some of the world’s finest sport horse stallions - and countless other animals - are caught up in the turmoil.

We are all impacted. The tragic human toll aside, supply lines of everything from fuel to grain and fertiliser are already badly disrupted. Prices will continue to rise steeply and the knock on effects will be felt throughout Europe and well beyond.

Europe is immediately destablilised by this unprovoked agression but the entire world is holding its collective breath as to what the next few weeks will bring.

The strength and determination of Ukrainians at this time of enormous peril is admirable.

As an EU member state, Ireland must play its fullest possible role to assist Ukraine in any way possible.