Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

Ukraine war one year on

By Munir Sulaiman Mar 10, 2023
Soldiers holding Ukraine flagPeople hold a huge Ukrainian flag while singing Ukraine's national anthem in Lviv, Ukraine, amid the Russian invasion. Credit: MYKOLA TYS/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

One year has passed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 26 last year caused devastation to the lives of Ukrainians and disruption which has been felt worldwide.

As it stands, The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) verified a total of 8,006 civilian deaths as of the same date in 2023. Of those, 488 were children.

More than eight million refugees have fled the country. In the UK 114,400 Ukrainians found refuge under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

The one year anniversary was commemorated by numerous ceremonies in London.

In the UK prime minister, Rishi Sunak held a minute’s silence at 11am and was joined outside Downing Street by Ukrainian ambassador Vadym Prystaiko, his wife Inna Prystaiko, and members of the Ukrainian armed forces.

Inna Prystaiko, Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko, Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murthy National one minute silence for Ukraine, London, UK. Credit: James Veysey/Shutterstock

Members of the public were urged to share their support in memory of those that died in the war and highlight the UK’s unwavering solidarity with Ukraine.

“I am incredibly proud of the UK’s response, and throughout this past year, the UK public have shown their true generosity of spirit and their enduring belief in freedom,” said Sunak.

Within the football world, Arsenal named Ukrainian international Oleksandr Zinchenko as captain against Leicester City. “As a mark of respect and love on the first on the anniversary of the conflict in Ukraine,” stated Arsenal football club.

Arsenal’s Oleksandr Zinchenko wears an arm band in the colour of Ukraine’s national flag during the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City and Arsenal. Credit: Peter Powell/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Furthermore, every Premier League club paid tribute on the anniversary of the invasion as captains of all clubs wore armbands in Ukraine’s national colours of yellow and blue.

Managers also paid tribute, with the option of wearing the Football Stands Together Ukraine badge hand-made by Ukrainian children temporarily displaced by the war.

Westminster City council re-named part of Bayswater Road as Kyiv Road. This was in honour of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, and a symbol of solidarity. The Russian embassy is on a corner of the road with Kensington Place Gardens.

View of the sign of the newly named Kyiv Road, placed outside the Russian Embassy, to mark the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Credit: Alberto Pezzali/AP/Shutterstock

Cllr Adam Hug, Leader of Westminster City Council said: “It’s a small stretch of road, but we want to show the people of Ukraine that their struggle has a visible place in our city.

“Place names across London have changed over the decade to mark momentous points or figures in history, so Kyiv Road is part of that long tradition.”

At Kingston University the sentiment remains to support Ukrainian students during this time. The University also provides in-country representatives in Ukraine ready to assist their journey to Kingston University.

Wellbeing services continue to offer support to students affected by the conflict.

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