By Harry Mottram: The leader of the Council Cllr Kevin Guy had a meeting this Tuesday with Zhenya Shkil the Mayor of Oleksandriya’s representative in the UK.
Oleksandriya is a city in central Ukraine that Bath is increasingly forging links with – the photo shows fire fighters tackling a blaze caused by shelling at an airport near the city – photo from India.com. Zhenya has recently returned from a trip to Ukraine, during which she was able to visit Oleksandriya, as well as Kyiv.
She is pictured (above) with Cllr Guy, holding the flag of the City of Oleksandriya, which she brought back from her visit, and which the council are planning to fly from the Guildhall to celebrate Oleksandriya’s city days on 27th and 28th May.
Cllr Guy said: “Zhenya provided a first-hand, moving and vivid account of how the people of Ukraine have responded with determination, resilience and spirit to the terrible impacts of the Russian invasion. Oleksandriya has seen nurseries become refugee centres and air-raid shelters built for schools, all supported by a huge community mobilisation – especially from young people.”
Zhenya also told Cllr Guy about the ties that are growing between people across both communities, and there was a discussion about the Friendship Agreement Bath & North East Somerset Council and the City of Oleksandriya are currently working on.
He said: “Zhenya talked about the exchange of gifts between our own Bath City FC and FC Oleksandriya, and about the interest in Oleksandriya in learning more about the life, history and heritage of our own area. Generous donors from Bath and North East Somerset have also so far funded 15 generators and an ambulance, which are now directly helping the city’s residents, including the thousands of refugees displaced by the war.
To find out more about the Friends of Oleksandriya’s appeal for funds to support the city please see here.
More homes for people fleeing Ukraine are still needed, so if you are considering becoming a sponsor then come along to an event from 5pm to 7.30pm on May 23 at the Guildhall in Bath. It is chance for guests from the Ukraine, hosts and potential hosts to find out more about the Homes for Ukraine scheme and get practical information. More homes for people fleeing Ukraine are still needed. There is more information here: https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/article/explainer/ukraine-crisis-uk-support-refugees-ukraine
The city of Oleksandriya sits in the centre of the country and has been targeted by rockets during the war from the Russian invasion force. It was briefly threatened last year when the Russian army crossed the river Dinipro taking the city of Kerson to the south and surrounding Karkiv to the east. Those advances have been reversed as the Ukrainian armed forces counter attacked. The city had around 93,000 inhabitants before the war although many residents have left. For the latest news from the BBC on the war visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-60525350
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