A READER gets in touch with us to urge the West to give Ukraine more support against Russia.

RUSSIA’S shelling of a children’s hospital, a theatre and an art school shows its armed forces can act with total impunity.

It exposes the West’s embarrassing impotence in responding to the endless and senseless aggression and destruction of Ukrainian cities.

Without military intervention, or a no-fly zone, Ukraine is becoming a barren wasteland and a sad indictment of the West’s beliefs and values.

The question to be asked now is: “Who will be next?”

Putin invaded Ukraine in the sure and safe knowledge that the West would do nothing to stop him.

That one man can inflict so much death, distress, and devastation is beyond belief and for us to stand by and do nothing, other than impose sanctions and utter soothing platitudes and messages of support, is moral dereliction of the highest order.

The threat of a Third World War has always been present since the 1960s but complacency and indifference, together with successive cuts in defence spending, manpower, and equipment have left us unable to respond to the present situation in a way which reflects a national will to do what is right.

For years we have lived in fear and in awe of a Russian military threat which, in recent weeks, has proved to be disorganised, disunited, and demoralised and whose command structure, planning, and logistical support has failed spectacularly, in sharp contrast to our own military forces of whom we should justly be proud.

For the Russian foreign minister to state that Russia invaded Ukraine in order to liberate them from Nazis and fascists and that the Mariupol hospital was a military base and not an atrocity beggars belief and makes me think they live on a totally different planet.

We needed friends in 1939. Ukraine needs them now, tanks included.

P Holmes, Barnard Castle.