Community gathers in Leamington to mark anniversary of invasion of Ukraine

Two vigils were held in the town last week and residents turned out to show their support for the people of Ukraine.
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The community joined together last week to mark the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine.

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Last Friday (February 24), marked a year since Russia illegally invaded Ukraine and vigils were held across the UK to mark the anniversary.

Residents gathered in Leamington to mark the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine. Photo suppliedResidents gathered in Leamington to mark the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine. Photo supplied
Residents gathered in Leamington to mark the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine. Photo supplied

A candlelit vigil was held outside the town hall in Leamington, where residents turned out to show their support for the people of Ukraine.

The vigil was organised by the chair of Warwick District Council, Labour Councillor Mini Kaur Mangat.

She said: “The response from local residents since the invasion began last year has been incredible.

"From fundraising efforts to housing Ukrainian refugees, the District has shown its determination to stand in solidarity with the victims of this senseless war.

Residents gathered in Leamington to mark the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine. Photo suppliedResidents gathered in Leamington to mark the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine. Photo supplied
Residents gathered in Leamington to mark the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine. Photo supplied

“It was powerful to see our community stand together on Friday in a peaceful and dignified way to express our collective message of hope and support to the people of Ukraine.”

A separate vigil, organised by Helen Aris, was held at All Saints Church in south Leamington where the local Ukrainian community gathered to commemorate the anniversary.

Matt Western, Labour MP for Warwick and Leamington, attended both vigils.

Speaking about the events and the efforts in the Warwick district, he said: “Last week, we marked a year since the illegal invasion of Ukraine but in fact nine years since the illegal invasion and occupation of the region of Crimea in Ukraine.

“It was clear from both the vigil at the Town Hall and the vigil at All Saints Church that our communities continue to stand firmly behind Ukraine.

“From providing aid for Ukrainian refugees entering Poland to welcoming Ukrainians into our communities with open arms, the support provided by local residents has been nothing short of incredible.

“I’d like to thank, in particular, the Polish Centre in Leamington for their outstanding efforts in gathering and delivering aid to Poland and Ukraine including sending seven ambulances to Ukraine alongside thousands of tonnes of aid.

"Your continued dedication to supporting Ukraine and its people has been inspiring.”