LEICESTER’S City mayor has said that the city is “ready to provide refuge” to those seeking sanctuary from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in a strong and emotional statement issued yesterday.
Sir Peter Soulsby has issued a statement in solidarity with Ukraine after it was stormed by Russian troops on Thursday, February 24.
In his message he, pledged support by way of sanctuary in the city to those fleeing war and urged the governments of Europe and the United Kingdom not to neglect the immediate needs of the people of Ukraine.
“Leicester, as we always have done throughout our recent history, will be ready to provide such sanctuary.
“For now, however, we offer our solidarity,” he said.
“The people of Ukraine face an immediate, murderous reality. Many have already died. So, so many more are fleeing their homes, some even separating from their family to defend their homeland from an invading army. All are facing a trauma and upheaval and confronting choices I know many of us can scarcely imagine. I certainly can’t,” he added.
In his statement, the City Mayor also labelled Vladimir Putin’s decision to send the Russian military to invade Ukraine “entirely unjustified.”
“The invasion and its’ accompanying warped logic and apocalyptic rhetoric is a terrifying threat to all,” he said.
“It can not in any way be justified or reasoned away to back up tired old tropes or more recent populism.
“Of course it is overdue that we embark on the arduous and complicated task of freezing the wealth plundered from the Russian people by Putin and his accomplices.
“However I implore the governments of Europe and the United Kingdom not to neglect the immediate needs of the people of Ukraine fleeing this humanitarian disaster. Together, we must all offer refuge to those seeking sanctuary from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”
Elsewhere, Leicestershireshire County Council is showing is support for war-torn Ukraine by illuminating its Glenfield headquarters in yellow and blue.
County Hall is being flood-lit, along with other public buildings and landmarks across the country and the world, in the colours of the Ukrainian national flag.
In the city, a vigil is also set to be held later tonight outside Leicester Town Hall between 6pm and 7.30pm.