Sheffield crowds gather to show support for the people of war-torn Ukraine

By Mia Radford

Crowds of people gathered outside Sheffield Town Hall to protest against Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine yesterday.

`Protestors make their feelings known (Photo by Hamish Sellars)

Blue and yellow colours were dotted amongst the crowd, with many people standing together with the Ukrainian flag to show their support for the country.

Asylum seeker Ayman Eckford, 26, from Ukraine, fled Russia after being charged with terrorism after speaking up for their beliefs supporting the LGBTQ+ community three years ago. They have been in Sheffield ever since.

Eckford said: “I know people who have been getting bombed. My auntie works in a hospital as a children’s neurosurgeon and is frightened they (Russia) will bomb the hospital.”

There were plenty of people proudly holding up signs against Putin and against the war. Everyone’s anger and passion bounced off each other as the crowd of supporters cheered and applauded as the speakers spoke up against Putin.

Halfway through they all chanted “no more war” until it was time to listen again to the heartfelt words of the speakers.

The message was clear (Photo by Tom Gray)

Protester Sarah Snidallholmes, 21, a Sheffield Hallam student, said: “I stand for peace for the people of Ukraine. I felt moved by the speakers.”

Left-wing political groups such as the Labour party helped organise this protest and other demonstrations against Russia’s invasion and are not happy with how the UK government is responding to this situation.

Protester Hamish Sellars said: “I think we need to force our government to allow Ukrainian refugees into the UK.”

After receiving criticism from the Labour party, the government has announced it will extend its scheme to help Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russian invasion.

Sheffield is twinned with the city of Donetsk in Ukraine so has a special connection with the country.

Several organisations were collecting donations at the protest such as: The Ukrainian Crisis Appeal where you can still donate.

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