- President Cyril Ramaphosa's position on the Russia-Ukraine war has once again come under the spotlight
- Speaking in Cape Town, Liubov Abravitova, Ukraine's ambassador to SA, gave an overview of the current crisis
- Abravitova also questioned whether Ramaphosa's approach is the same as what would've been that of Madiba
- South Africans had plenty to say in response to Abravitova's comment, with many expressing polarising views
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CAPE TOWN - Ukraine's ambassador to South Africa, Liubov Abravitova, has questioned President Cyril Ramaphosa over one of the continent's biggest economy's responses to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
Speaking at the Cape Town Press Club, Abravitova said Moscow's history of helping the southern African country fight against the apartheid regime is emerging as an excuse to ignore the monstrosities afoot in Kyiv.
Noting the current state of affairs, after high-level talks towards a ceasefire collapsed, she said Ukraine was under heavy shelling from opposition forces.
Ukraine's foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, met with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in the first high-level meeting between the two countries since the Kremlin's invasion two weeks ago. Kuleba said the talks in Turkey came to nought as no headway was made towards achieving a truce, The Guardian reported.
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SA called on to mediate
Abravitova, in appealing to Ramaphosa, made no bones about her hope and that of her fellow countryman in the face of the unfolding conflict.
"I would hope President Vladimir Putin brought [Ramaphosa] up to speed to gain 'insight into the situation in Ukraine due to Russia's invasion'," she said.
The diplomat was referencing Ramaphosa's remark in which he detailed calling Putin on Thursday, saying South Africa had been called on by a third party to mediate a peaceful resolution, Daily Maverick reported.
Cyril Ramaphosa calls Vladimir Putin amid Ukraine invasion, says Putin appreciates SA's peaceful approach
"Due to Russia's aggression, a child [reportedly] died of dehydration. Is that what is termed 'the unfolding situation'? Brutality, slayings and offences against humankind. Would this be a balanced approach of Madiba [Nelson Mandela]?" Abravitova questioned.
Locals berate question posed
Expectedly, South Africans had plenty to say on the backdrop of Ukraine's ambassador's impassioned remarks. Locals were critical of the question posed to Ramaphosa, with many highlighting that Madiba was not here to substantiate himself.
@Lihle Zwitty wrote:
"When Africans were massacred in July last year in Phoenix, nobody in the world bothered to condemn that brutally. Instead, responsible criminals were praised and called heroes for murdering innocent people."
@Precious P. Mdutyana said:
"Maybe he would have said, 'South Africa belongs to everyone who lives in the country, including European refugees, who still want to invade our land and discriminate us more'. Maybe even order uMkhonto weSizwe, APLA and other Pan African Organization movements to go and defend Ukraine."
@Ernest Emenike Okeke added:
"This is totally overselling! Emotional blackmail won't help this matter. Too many bad examples and thousands of lives lost through negligence got us here."
African students recall hostility faced amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine
Elsewhere, Briefly News previously reported that African students and others from foreign countries studying in Ukraine are recalling the horror they faced as they made their escape from the war-torn country.
Several students managed to flee the escalating crisis as Russian troops blockaded the strategic Ukrainian port city of Mariupol in the last week. Despite this, then reports on the ground suggested the two countries were planning to hold new talks.
SABC News reported that a group of students were confronted by soldiers, who pointed guns at them and ordered them back during their attempts to get on a train leaving Ukraine.
Source: Briefly News