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Sarah the Duchess of York has said she will not refrain from speaking out against the ongoing conflict following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The Duchess, 62, along with her charity, Sarah's Trust, visited Poland where she met Ukrainians who had fled their home country following Vladimir Putin's invasion on February 24, 2022.
But despite members of The Royal Family often remaining neutral when it comes to political topics, the Duchess has said she will not remain silent on the "dreadful" invasion.
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During an exclusive chat with the Daily Star, the mum-of-two admitted she has realised "how lucky" she is to have a stable and loving family at home.
Speaking about the political issues surrounding the war, the Duchess told us: "I think this goes beyond politics.
"I think everyone has a duty to condemn unnecessary suffering when they see it and I certainly won’t be deterred from speaking out."
Reflecting on how the visit to Poland affected her, the philanthropist continued: "It brought it home to me how lucky I am to have a loving family living in safety and stability.
"Some of the stories I heard were hard to listen to, but they only made me more determined to do whatever I can to help."
Sarah has made several visits to Poland where she met displaced refugees since the war broke out, admitting it's "heartbreaking to witness at first hand the biggest migration crisis in Europe since World War Two.
"It's vital that the whole world keeps its attention on what is happening and steps up to help."
On her initial reaction to seeing thousands of displaced children, Princess Beatrice's mum opened up on the heartbreak that she faced.
The author said: "For me, the smile of a child has always been the most important thing.
"I met many children who were without their parents, their families are broken apart by the dreadful Russian invasion.
"Some didn't know if their fathers fighting on the front line were alive or dead, it's just the most appalling situation."
Following the release of her latest novel, The Heart for a Compass, the Duchess revealed that proceedings from a book event would be used to help refugees on the Polish border.
She told of how important this decision was, explaining: "I hope everyone will do what they can to support charities working to help Ukrainian refugees.
"The world must continue to support all those fighting in Ukraine for basic ideals of democracy, sovereignty, human rights and peace."
She went on to say: "We've had fantastic support from companies who want to help.
"Sarah's Trust has sent in articulated lorries with humanitarian aid including food, books and shoes to border towns, in recent weeks we delivered a consignment of aid into Ukraine itself, including tourniquets, medical gloves, first aid kits, solar-powered portable phone chargers and water purification tablets.
"We are also providing computers to support the children's schooling and a new box of play-based activities called Play in a Box which I have developed with Montessori Schools and is designed to encourage children's development."
Sarah has made no secret of the fact she will continue to use her profile to help those in crisis situations over the years.
She told us: "I first went to the border towns in Poland in the early 1990s where I learned of the heavy pollution in industrialised Upper Silesia, where the infant mortality rate was the highest in Europe, I met a girl called Ania in Zabrze's children's hospital.
"Ania had cancer and was in terrible pain, I vowed to help in whatever way I could, working with Polish authorities and the head of oncology at the Children's hospital in the Polish town of Zabrze, we found a location for a recuperation centre in the mountain village of Lipnica Wielka, 90 miles south of Krakow.
"Its purpose was to give very ill children a brief respite from their polluted area, or from long stays in hospital, so I have a longstanding connection with this area.
"Over the years I have visited Albania, Bosnia, Belarus, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sierra Leone, Congo, Liberia, Ghana, Tanzania and East Timor to bring support for refugee children or children suffering in some way."
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