Events marking Ukrainian Independence Day are taking place across Yorkshire, six months after Russia invaded its neighbor.
This day commemorates the year that Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union.
According to estimates, more than 100,000 Ukrainian war refugees have entered the UK since Russia invaded the country in February.
In Yorkshire, there are protests, religious services, and other events going on.
Olena Akshabayeva, a resident of Leeds since 2007, said on this Independence Day that her family members were still “adapting” to their new surroundings. Since the war started, she has brought six family members to the UK.
They are looking for a means to survive here, she explained.
She continued, saying that even though it was the “saddest one,” her family will still enjoy the day.
At the Leeds Ukrainian Community Center on Saturday, she announced, “proper celebrations will take place.”
We shall continue to celebrate in the hopes that the war will cease one day and Ukraine will continue to be an independent and powerful nation.
A service of memory and prayers for peace will be held at Hull Minster at 18:30 BST as one of the activities commemorating Ukraine’s independence day that will be taking place elsewhere in Yorkshire.
The Ukrainian community had contacted the church to arrange the event, according to the Rev. Rob Suekarran, associate vicar of the cathedral, who predicted that it would be a very moving ceremony.
“The church participates in acts such as remembering the deceased and praying for world peace. We consider it a great honor to be hosting the service today.”
On Wednesday, Wakefield Council will fly the Ukrainian flag over the Town Hall and illuminate its clock tower in solidarity with Ukraine.
At 17:00 BST, Ukrainian refugees will have a rally in Leeds’ City Square, while at 17:30 BST, York Stands With Ukraine will stage a rally in front of York Minster.
Rachael Maskell, a Labour member of parliament for York Central, said she wanted the city to “unite and celebrate” this significant day in the Ukrainian calendar.
“Many families who were forced to abandon their countries and homes have been welcomed in York, and the kind residents of York have given them safety and hope for the future,” she said.
The Association for Ukrainians in Great Britain’s Sheffield branch has planned an event for Friday at Northern College in Barnsley, which is in South Yorkshire.
The gathering’s chair, Lena Mandrik, said that everyone was welcome.
For us to remain united against Russian aggression and to demonstrate our nation’s will to be an independent nation, she stated,
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