Ukrainians 'will never give up fighting' as war enters third year

Protests against the war in Ukraine took place across Scotland while a service was held at Edinburgh Castle.

Ukrainians in Scotland speak out on second anniversary of Russian invasion as conflict enters third year STV News

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its third year, Ukrainians living in Scotland say they want the war to end but that they will never give up fighting,

It comes as a solemn service was held at Edinburgh Castle on Saturday morning, marking two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Many of those who have fled the conflict stood shoulder to shoulder with Scots, religious leaders and politicians to hear music from their place of sanctuary and their homeland.

Edinburgh Castle was filled with the sounds of the bagpipes and traditional hymns sung in Ukrainian during the service.

The First Minister, alongside his wife, was among those who attended the service.

He pledged that Scotland would continue to support Ukrainians living in the country as the fighting continues.

A service was held at Edinburgh Castle to mark the anniversary of the conflict.

Humza Yousaf said: “I want to say to those Ukrainians who are living in Scotland that this country, Scotland, will be their home for as long as they want it to be.

“I’m very proud of the fact that over 26,000 Ukrainians have been given homes here in Scotland. We will do whatever we can to support them in their hour of need.”

Andrii Kuslii, from Edinburgh’s Ukrainian consulate, said: “The situation is difficult, but at the same time our warriors are keeping fighting them back. There is no doubt that Ukraine will win.”

For those who have made Scotland their home while the conflict continues, Saturday was a reminder of the last two years of war which has torn families apart.

The Rybalchenko family arrived in Edinburgh from Odessa in southern Ukraine last year.

Their father was recently killed in the conflict.

Kateryna Rybalchenko told STV News: “The truth is, if Ukraine falls, the war will come to the European Union too. If other countries don’t want to be involved in the war directly, they need to help Ukraine.”

Denys Rybalcheko added: “People should pay more attention. Bring the government’s attention to this problem so they send Ukraine more weapons.”

In Dundee, crowds gathered to support Ukrainians fighting back at home on the front line.

Lisa Prokhorova, who took part in the demonstration, said: “We are living life here but your thoughts, your heart is back at home with all your friends, with all your family, with people who are fighting for your country so you can’t really forget.”

A demonstration was held in Dundee to mark two years since the Russian invasion.

Meanwhile in Moscow, wives of Russians soldiers laid flowers, and two journalists were detained by police.

Outside Russia’s consulate in Edinburgh, a peaceful protest took place.

Protester Sofiia Berveno said: “There was a lot of shelling in January when I was in Ukraine but they are quite strong so yeah, we are fighting for our freedom.”

As the war enters its third year, Ukrainians here say despite their uncertain future, they’ll never lose hope of victory and a lasting peace.

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