A SERIES of events across Edinburgh to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine was launched yesterday.

The “Ukraine Forever” events programme launched at Edinburgh Castle by the Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, alongside representatives from the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB).

As the one-year anniversary of the start of the war against Ukraine approaches, Ukraine Forever is offering a range of events to aid those wishing to mark February 24.

From a fundraiser for Hospitallers paramedic charity at the Scottish Storytelling Centre (February 23), to a wreath laying by officials at Edinburgh Castle and the City War Memorial on the Royal Mile (February 24), and a night of music with Scottish and Ukrainian artists at the Usher Hall (February 26), there are many ways for residents and visitors to commemorate those who have fallen in the defence of Ukraine.

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Lord Provost Robert Aldridge said: “I am privileged to launch the Ukraine Forever events programme on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council and our capital city.

“On this most sombre of anniversaries, we are reminded of the terrible consequences of Russia’s illegal invasion during the past year.

“Thank you to our partners, colleagues, and the Ukrainian community for their excellent work to deliver a programme that is designed to help residents and Ukrainians living in Edinburgh to reflect on the anniversary, raise vital funds for Ukrainian frontline charities, and celebrate the incredible actions of the Ukrainian community here in the capital.The Ukraine Forever programme will hopefully show the people that are here from Ukraine see the solidarity of feeling that there is here in Edinburgh.”

Minister with Special Responsibility for Refugees from Ukraine, Neil Gray, said: “As we approach the anniversary of Russia’s illegal re-invasion of Ukraine, it is important for us to take a moment to pause and reflect, and to remember all those who have lost their lives in the conflict.

“It is also a time where we can recognise and acknowledge the extraordinary efforts played by organisations, communities, and people across Scotland in offering displaced people from Ukraine a warm Scottish welcome. I would like to take this opportunity to thank City of Edinburgh Council and all of our key partners for the crucial role they have played over the last year in helping those who have fled Ukraine.Edinburgh’s Ukraine Forever programme will help us all to show our continued support and solidarity with Ukrainians all over the world.

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“To all the Ukrainians in Scotland, my message remains clear, we stand with you and want you to know that Scotland is your home for as long as you need it to be.”

Hannah Beaton-Hawryluk, branch chair of AUGB Edinburgh, said:“As we approach the first anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion against Ukraine, we hope this programme of events will provide an opportunity for both residents of Edinburgh and Ukrainians living in the city to come together to commemorate the human sacrifice in the defence of Ukraine.

“We’d like to thank all partners, both from the city and within the Ukrainian community, for the compassionate and collaborative approach to coordinate this events programme. The first anniversary is a really important, but sombre, milestone.” to ensure that the profile of Ukraine’s fight is kept at the forefront of societies discourse in the coming year ahead. We need all of your help to continue supporting Ukraine”.

‘Ukraine Forever’ is a collaborative partnership of events between the City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council (EVOC), the Scottish Government, Associations of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB), Help Ukraine Scotland, and Consulate of Ukraine in Edinburgh.