The Ukrainian Youth Association of Great Britain today commemorates the first anniversary of Russia’s full
scale invasion of Ukraine, the escalation of an invasion that started with the occupation of Crimea and parts of the Donbas region of Ukraine just short of nine years ago.
In addition to the war waged against the armed forces of Ukraine, Russia has waged a war against Ukraine’s civilians, deliberately killing men women and children with a combination of both indiscriminate and deliberately targeted attacks against Ukraine’s civilian population and its infrastructure. Russia has used murder, torture and rape as weapons of war and also used food, the weather, and nuclear blackmail as tools of war.
As a youth organisation we wish to highlight the fate of children in this war: 461 killed children, 926 wounded children, 348 missing children and thousands more have been orphaned, bereaved or living as refugees away from their homeland. 16,207 children have been forcibly deported to Russia and their fate is unknown (Source Children of War Ukrainian government website as at 20th February 2023). Unless these children are returned to their parents and rightful carers, this is a crime that will be committed against them daily for the rest of their lives.
Since 24 February 2022, the world has united behind Ukraine and we have seen the incredible efforts, work and support shown by members of the Ukrainian Youth Association in GB. We, the Ukrainian Youth
Association in Great Britain, part of a global Youth Association, stand with Ukraine in its struggle for
independence. Our greeting ‘Honour of Ukraine, Ready to Defend’ has never sounded more poignant as we support and remember our members in Ukraine especially those we have recently buried - Oleh
Yurchenko, Hryts Dobosh and Victor Melnychenko. May their memory be eternal - Heroes never die!
We wish to thank the UK Government for its leadership in the international coalition of support for Ukraine at this critical time, and thank the Opposition and all political parties for their unity with the UK Government on this issue. We also thank the numerous charities, organisations, and individuals for their support and understanding at this critical time. Over the last year we have welcomed into our branches a significant number of newly-arrived Ukrainians, who have had to leave their homeland because of this war, and we thank both the UK government and the citizens of the UK for their overwhelming compassion, empathy and hospitality.
Ukraine has proudly defined itself as resilient and determined to defend the right to be an independent,
sovereign state and to live as most other nations do in peace and harmony with its neighbours and
Ukrainians have been fighting and praying, not just since 24 February, but for 9 years for “freedom”,
”independence”, “democracy”, “peace”, “victory”.
We call on all who understand the above principles to continue to support Ukraine until victory.
As President Zelensky said on his visit to London, "Freedom will win - we know Russia will lose."
Cлава Україні! Героям Слава!