THE plight of a Ukranian refugee who fled her home with nothing but a plastic bag containing her possessions has been encapsulated in music to mark the first anniversary of the Russian invasion.

The composition, named after the refugee, is the work of Glasgow-based singer-songwriter Robert Severin whose own family history inspired him to tell the story of 63-year-old Elena who sought refuge after Russia invaded Ukraine on last year.

The lyrics were written by Dutch poet Linda de Bruijn, who was moved to write about Elena’s story after hearing about her experiences from friends that had sponsored her settlement in the Netherlands.

“When Linda showed me her lyrics, I knew I had set them to music, and the melody came very quickly,” said Severin.

“The subject resonates so strongly with me because my parents were also refugees – they fled Hungary when the Soviet Union invaded the country after the uprising in November 1956. They made their separate ways out of Hungary, meeting at a refugee centre in West Linton in the Scottish Borders in mid-December 1956 and married three weeks later.

"Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with no justification is indefensible. I wanted to record this single to protest against the tragedy and suffering of the innocent caused by the horrors of war.”

Severin’s debut album Postcard From Budapest explored the legacy of his Hungarian heritage and its connections to Scotland.

Elena will be available to download and stream on the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Also marking the anniversary will be a protest in Glasgow’s George Square organised by the Glasgow branch of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB).

Founded in 1946 by Ukrainians who came to Great Britain at the end of the Second World War, the AUGB is the largest representative body for Ukrainians and those of Ukrainian descent in the UK.

The Glasgow branch said it was holding the demonstration “to highlight the ongoing brutality perpetrated by Russia against our peaceful and democratic nation”.

In Edinburgh on Friday, a wreath-laying ceremony will take place at Edinburgh Council and the City War Memorial on the Royal Mile. Other Scottish cities are also expected to hold wreath-laying events and church services.

A march is also to be held in Edinburgh on Saturday from the Castle to the Parliament where there will be a special debate on Thursday to mark the anniversary of the invasion.