TODAY marks 100 days since the start of Russia’s brutal and immoral invasion of Ukraine. That is a hundred days of air strikes, a hundred days of shelling and a hundred days of war crimes against innocent people.

The Russian government has claimed that it is trying to “minimise civilian casualties”, but in reality the evidence is mounting of innocent Ukrainians being tortured and massacred in areas under Russian control, not to mention the intense bombing campaigns directed against civilian areas.

Schools, hospitals and homes have been turned into the sites of massacres. A lot of the destruction of civilian sites has looked targeted, with the World Health Organisation documenting attacks on at least four maternity hospitals, four children’s hospitals, killing at least 73 healthcare workers and patients.

In ruined Mariupol the basement of the main theatre was used as a shelter for hundreds of civilians. In the courtyard outside the word “CHILDREN” was drawn large enough for any Russian drone to see. It was bombed anyway. That was no mistake.

The National: A woman stands next to a destroyed house in MariupolA woman stands next to a destroyed house in Mariupol

The bravery and determination of the Ukrainian resistance has halted Russian forces in large parts of the country, not least in Mariupol where a few hundred besieged Ukrainian fighters held out dozens of kilometres behind enemy lines for almost three months. But that cannot continue indefinitely without international support and solidarity.

Part of that solidarity means providing safety and support for those seeking refuge elsewhere in Europe. The UK Government likes to talk up how welcoming it has been, but the reality for many Ukrainians has been quite different.

Despite widespread public support, many people in need have found the system painfully slow. The Home Office has forced desperate refugees to jump through a number of hoops that other European countries have deliberately avoided.

Last week The Guardian highlighted the experience of Timothy Tymoshenko, a 16-year-old who fled the war with his 17-year-old brother. Timothy is severely autistic and non-verbal. Julie and Roger Elliot, a couple in Lancashire, have been trying to provide a home for the brothers, but have been stopped because, as unaccompanied minors, they do not qualify for the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

The Elliots are fighting this decision. Their determination and their humanity should be commended, but it should not be necessary. Behind every needless hurdle and restriction people are suffering. This is why the Greens have consistently called for all visa restrictions to be lifted and for people to be given free passage.

READ MORE: David Pratt: The world must not wobble on its support for Ukraine now

More challenging for many of us though, is the unavoidable reality that to win this war and save civilian lives Ukraine also needs weapons.

Any arms supplied to a conflict can have negative unintended consequences. There is little in the way of arms control in a war zone and weapons can remain in circulation long after the conflict ends. They can also be diverted to users and purposes. Such risks should be taken seriously by any countries supplying arms to Ukraine.

However, it is also unavoidably true that there won’t be peace without further Ukrainian military victories. That is the only way that they can overcome Russian aggression and force Putin to the negotiating table. For Ukrainians, this is a defensive war against a brutal invasion of their sovereign state. That is why, despite concerns about the risks attached, we have not opposed the transfer of weapons to Ukraine’s military.

Their resistance against utterly overwhelming odds has been one of the most remarkable defensive operations in modern history. We stand in solidarity, and, despite concerns, I believe that military aid to people under fire is essential to that solidarity. What use are warm words to those willing to defend their homes but who urgently need resupplied if they are to have any chance of doing so successfully?

The invasion has also raised important questions about military spending and what an independent Scotland’s relationship with Nato should be.

READ MORE: Joining Nato would be 'vital' to an independent Scotland's security, says Nicola Sturgeon

The first point we should all agree on is that Scotland isn’t Ukraine, or Finland or Sweden. We do not border Russia and choosing defence and security arrangements which suit our circumstances isn’t a criticism of those who are making other choices. The Scottish Greens stand unequivocally against nuclear weapons and to us it is clear that membership of an alliance like Nato, which claims the right to launch the first strike in a nuclear weapon if it thinks it necessary, is incompatible with that principled and logical opposition to these evil weapons.

Nato claims that it exists to promote freedom and democracy around the world. Yet its members include Turkey, a repressive and authoritarian state that is guilty of ethnic cleansing against its own Kurdish minority population and against peoples in neighbouring countries like Syria.

How can we condemn Russia’s crimes in Ukraine but stand alongside a regime guilty of the same and worse against its own population?

Nato is now dealing with the consequence of decades of tacit acceptance of Turkey’s crimes as it threatens to veto Finland and Sweden’s applications to join the alliance. Their apparent crimes? Opposing Turkey’s own brutal invasion of Kurdish-majority areas of northern Syria and ending all arms sales to Erdogan’s regime as a response.

It looks like Turkey might use its current leverage within Nato to launch a further invasion of Northeast Syria, in a blatant attempt to destroy the democratic, feminist society which has been established there by the Kurdish, Arab and Assyrian communities.

If the alliance tolerates this it will only confirm what the Greens have long said, that freedom and democracy are far less important to Nato than the mutual self-interest of imperialist powers.

It is telling that Ukraine’s foreign minister recently said that Nato had done nothing for them whilst the EU had made “historic and revolutionary decisions on the provision of weapons, sanctions” and more.

Scotland can contribute to Europe’s collective security, stand with our neighbours and uphold human rights as an independent nation and EU member. Nato is necessary to none of that.

Khay zhyve Ukrayina. Long live a free and independent Ukraine.