Russia-Ukraine live: World leaders in Kyiv for anniversary of war as Zelensky vows ‘we will win’ against Putin

By Isaac M February 24, 2024

Russian forces clear out abandoned military equipment after Ukrainian troops’ retreat from Avdiivka

As western leaders gather in Kyiv to mark two years since Russia‘s invasion, Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed Ukraine will win and Moscow ‘cannot destroy our dream’.

He posted on X: “Any normal person wants the war to end. But none of us will allow Ukraine to end. That is why when it comes to ending the war, we always add: on our terms.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen vowed that Europe would back Ukraine until it was “finally free” as she and three other Western leaders arrived in Kyiv.

The visit by von der Leyen and the prime ministers of Italy, Canada and Belgium – Giorgia Meloni, Justin Trudeau and Alexander De Croo – was a show of support as Ukraine suffers shortages of military supplies that are hurting it on the battlefield.

It comes as Vladimir Putin has been accused of “behaving like Nazis” in a scathing attack by David Cameron.

Addressing the UN in New York on the eve of the anniversary, the foreign secretary said: “The only people behaving like Nazis are Putin and his cronies who thought they could invade a country, take its territory and ultimately the world would look away.”

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Thousands march through Dublin to mark two-year anniversary of Russian invasion of Ukraine

Thousands march through Dublin to mark anniversary of Russian invasion of Ukraine

Thousands of people have marched through Dublin in a demonstration marking the second anniversary of the start of the war in Ukraine. Ireland’s deputy premier said the nation “will not waiver” in its support for Kyiv, having provided refuge to about 100,000 Ukrainians since the outbreak of war. On Saturday 23 February, the Ukrainian Action in Ireland group organised a march through Dublin starting outside the General Post Office building on O’Connell Street. Demonstrators shouted “Free Ukraine” and called for Russia to leave the country.

Alexander Butler24 February 2024 16:07

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Ukraine and Italy sign bilateral security agreement, Zelensky says

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he had signed a bilateral security agreement on Saturday with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

Italy joined Britain, Germany, France and Denmark in concluding a 10-year security deal with Kyiv – agreements intended to shore up Ukraine‘s security until it can reach its aim of becoming a member of the Western military alliance, NATO.

Meloni is on a visit to Kyiv to underline continued support as Ukraine marks the second anniversary of the start of Russia‘s full-scale invasion in February 2022.

(via REUTERS)

Maryam Zakir-Hussain24 February 2024 15:08

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Hundreds gather at Marble Arch in central London to protest war in Ukraine

Hundreds of people have gathered at Marble Arch in central London to protest against Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine, as the conflict reached its second anniversary.

Demonstrators waved Ukrainian flags, with others wrapping them around their shoulders.

Other protestors bore signs urging Russia to “stop the war”, labelling Russian president Vladimir Putin a “terrorist” and urging international powers to offer more support.

A Ukrainian child sang to the crowd, followed by a performance by the St Mary’s Ukrainian School choir.

Organisers said it was important the protest, which preceded a march to Trafalgar Square for a vigil, remained peaceful.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain24 February 2024 14:51

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The fight by Russian dissidents against Vladimir Putin and his war in Ukraine

They began with a trivial message, something like “How are you honey?”. But with each unanswered message, they grew more panicked. “Honey, just write back. Just write anything. I just want to know that you are okay,” one said.

By then, these women knew what had happened. They knew they would not get a response. They knew their partners, their siblings, had been killed by Russian soldiers.

Reading through these messages, Evgenia began to break down. She felt like she was about to have another panic attack.

They reminded her of the last message she sent to her husband, nearly two years earlier.

Read the full story here…

Lydia Patrick24 February 2024 14:30

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‘Your fight is our fight’- Canada’s Trudeau

Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau spoke in Ukraine to mark the second anniversary since the war began.

He said: “Two years ago, Putin invaded Ukraine. Bombs rained down across the country, civilians were targeted and Putin was sure he could easily take strategic targets like this airport.

“We are standing here today because he was wrong, like he has been wrong on so many things.

“Canada has been by your side not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because your fight is our fight.”

(via REUTERS)

Maryam Zakir-Hussain24 February 2024 14:23

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Poignant commemoration to Ukraine’s killed children in London

Paper angels have been hung from the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral’s balcony – one for each of the 528 Ukrainian children killed during the conflict, according to Ukraine’s prosecutor general.

Referring to the paper angels, Bishop Nowakowski said during the service: “These paper angels are a remembrance of those young lives and the families who are grieving.”

In an opening prayer, the bishop and the congregation called for those “overtaken by a spirit of deception and violence” to “open their eyes”.

The leader of the Ukrainian Catholic community in the UK added that Ukrainians “do not want to give up hope”.

“Ukrainians are very resilient and anyone who has been in the last two years to Ukraine can attest to the resilience of the Ukrainian people and their high morale,” he said.

An ecumenical interreligious prayer service at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in London, to mark the two year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine

(Maja Smiejkowska/PA Wire)

Lydia Patrick24 February 2024 14:10

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Watch – Rishi Sunak pledges support to Ukraine

In a video he posted on X, he said: “When Putin launched his illegal invasion two years ago, the free world was united in its response. We stood together behind Ukraine and on this grim anniversary we must renew our determination.”

The Prime Minister described his trip to the country two weeks ago where he met Ukrainian soldiers- whose stories served as a reminder of their strength whilst defending their country from ‘a completely unjustified invasion’.

Grant Shapps detailed the biggest single defence package the UK will send to Ukraine, taking support to over £12 billion.

The defence secretary said around £250,000 will go towards ammunition and £200 million will go to their largest supplier of drones.

Foreign Secretary David Cameron said the UK has signed the’ first-of-its-kind’ 10 year security agreement to formalise support provisions- including intelligence sharing, cyber security, medical and military training and defence industrial cooperation.

Rishi Sunak concluded: “This is the moment to show that tyranny will never triumph, to say once again we will stand with Ukraine, today and tomorrow.”

Lydia Patrick24 February 2024 13:50

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Crowds gather in UK to support Ukraine on second anniversary of Russian invasion

Crowds have gathered across the UK to show support for Ukraine and pay their respects to the fallen on the second anniversary of the Russian invasion.

Commemorations on Saturday in London began with an interfaith prayer service at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Mayfair.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, political and religious leaders attended a service at Edinburgh Castle to mark the anniversary.

Speaking ahead of the service in London, the leading Ukrainian Catholic bishop in the UK, Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski, said his compatriots are “resolved to win the war” and have experienced a “two-year unending nightmare”.

The bishop told the PA news agency that the anniversary was a “very tragic milestone” and called for Russia to pay reparations to Ukraine.

The service will be followed by a gathering at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park organised by Ukrainian community organisations and a procession to Trafalgar Square, where an afternoon vigil will be held.

In Edinburgh, First Minister Humza Yousaf delivered a reading and laid a wreath at the Scottish National War Memorial alongside Andrii Kuslii, of the consulate of Ukraine.

The service was also attended by Ukrainian citizens living in Scotland and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Rev Sally Foster-Fulton.

People attend an ecumenical interreligious prayer service at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in London (Maja Smiejkowska/PA).

(PA Wire)

Lydia Patrick24 February 2024 13:30

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Watch – ‘Putin and his cronies are only people behaving like Nazis,’ Cameron says

‘Putin and his cronies are only people behaving like Nazis,’ Cameron says

Lydia Patrick24 February 2024 13:10

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Leader of Ukrainian Catholic community in UK tells congregation they ‘do not want to give up hope’

Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski, leader of the Ukrainian Catholic community in the UK, told the congregation that Ukrainians “do not want to give up hope”, as a prayer service marked the second anniversary of Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine.

“Ukrainians are very resilient and anyone who has been in the last two years to Ukraine can attest to the resilience of the Ukrainian people and their high morale,” he said.

Referring to 528 paper angels hanging from the balcony of the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in central London, Bishop Nowakowski said: “These paper angels are a remembrance of those young lives and the families who are grieving.”

Each angel represents a Ukrainian child killed during the war, according to figures provided by Ukrainian authorities.

In an opening prayer, Bishop Nowakowski and the congregation called for those “overtaken by a spirit of deception and violence” to “open their eyes”.

Two pupils from St Mary’s Ukrainian School lit two candles, symbolising the second anniversary of the conflict, while 10 children laid flowers to commemorate 10 years since Russia‘s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain24 February 2024 12:51

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