Ukrainian protesters gathered outside the Russian consulate in Edinburgh on Wednesday in response to the country’s deadly air bombardment of Kyiv last week.
On Tuesday Vladimir Putin said his army had launched 500 missiles and drones against Ukraine in just five days – marking one of the largest aerial attacks on Ukraine since the war began nearly two years ago.
Marjan Pokhylyy, who attended the protest, urged those in Western Europe not to forget about the war.
He told STV News: “This war has been going on since 2014. People have started to forget about Ukraine.
“People forgot about Ukraine after 2014, after 2015, it was horrific. It was referred to as the European forgotten war until Russia decided to kill everyone and try to eradicate Ukraine from the map.
“That’s the only time when the West remembers about us – when we are dying in our thousands. It’s horrific to see the bombs falling on buildings that people live in.”
Pokhylyy said every Ukrainian remembers February 24, 2022 as the “longest day of their lives”.
That’s the day Russia launched its full-scale invasion. Before that, in 2014, Russia annexed Crimea – home to more than 2.4 million people.
Since 2022, America and European countries have donated tens of billions of pounds worth of weapons to Ukraine.
But Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has continued to press allies for more as he warned that without further help Ukraine’s war effort is at risk.
“It’s important that words turn into actions,“ Pokhylyy said. “We need drones, we need military support, we need anti-air support.”
He said Ukraine is struggling to shoot down missiles from Russia without adequate support.
“We need more weapons to fight and protect Europe,” he said.
“It’s important that it is not only a Ukrainian fight, to understand that the fight is not about Ukraine it is about Russian warmongering.
“The warmongering that happened in Chechnya, that happened in Maldova, that happened in Syria, that is happening now in Ukraine, that happened in Georgia, and that will happen in other European countries unless it is stopped.”
Pokhylyy claimed that if Ukraine loses the war against Russia it could be a NATO-member country which is next.
“That will bring Scotland into it and that will bring everyone into it,” he said. “This is the number one challenge for the world.”
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