Demonstrators attend peace protest for ‘Stand with Ukraine Exeter’
On Wednesday 2 March, around 100 demonstrators met in Bedford Square, Exeter, to stand in solidarity with Ukrainian refugees and citizens. The ‘Stand With Ukraine Exeter’ demonstration was held to raise awareness for President Putin’s brutal campaign against Ukraine which began last Thursday.
Attendees held placards which read ‘PUTIN OUT,’ ‘SAY NO TO WAR,’ and ‘REFUGEES WELCOME.’ A number of protestors made speeches calling for an end to hostilities and for people in Exeter to continue to show their solidarity with those suffering in Ukraine.
“I am Ukrainian, my country’s being invaded and my family are currently there, so I’m being directly affected by this.”Anastasia Liubychenko
Exeposé attended the demonstration, and spoke to some of those personally affected by the attack on Ukraine, such as Anastasiia Liubychenko, who told us why she was demonstrating: “Because I am Ukrainian, my country’s being invaded and my family is currently there, so I’m being directly affected by this. I lived there for seven years.”
Exeposé also spoke to Oleg Girnyk, a Ukrainian student at the University of Exeter. He said: “This is a demonstration for the people of Exeter to remind them that there’s a war in Ukraine, it was started by Russia, and a lot of people all over Ukraine right now are suffering from getting shelled, from getting shot, from just general Russian aggression for this pointless imperialism.”
In his speech at the protest, Oleg outlined the different ways people could show their support for Ukraine: “First of all, talk, talk, talk about this issue. Just post about it online, spread it to your friends, let everybody know that Russia has invaded Ukraine, that they are committing massive civilian casualties on the Ukrainian population, and this all started because of Putin’s delusions of grandeur.
“This is a demonstration for the people of Exeter to remind them there’s a war in Ukraine, and a lot of people all are suffering right now – getting shelled, getting shot, and from Russian aggression for this pointless imperialism.”Oleg Girnyk
“Second of all, there are multiple ways of donating – there is a website of a government affiliated charity called ‘Come Back Alive’ that is using money for both military funding and for humanitarian aid.
“Finally, in the UK, a private postal service in Ukraine called Nova Poshta is using their depot in Kent to collect humanitarian aid. There’s a phone number you can call (+447926258649); you tell them what you have, and they will send a volunteer to collect it.”
Imogen Davis, another demonstrator who was involved in organising the event, told Exeposé she was collecting supplies for Ukrainian refugees during the demonstration. She said: “There is a member of the Topsham rugby team that is driving to the Polish border by Ukraine, and he’s taking a bunch of donations to give to the refugees and to those in need – we’ve come here together to stand with Ukraine, and get as many donations as we can so they can be delivered to the refugees there.
“I’m so grateful for everyone that came out to support us today – its so good to see that people stand with Ukraine. It makes those of us who are worried about our families very proud and very grateful.”
Editor: Orla Mackinnon