Manchester Stands With Ukraine - protest in support of Ukrainians to be held in Manchester city centre

The Ukrainian community in the city-region will be joined by residents horrified by the Russian invasion of the country in for a vigil in Piccadilly Gardens on Saturday afternoon.

People wanting to show support for Ukraine and express their horror at the Russian invasion of the country will gather in Manchester city centre for a protest this weekend.

Manchester Stands With Ukraine will take place in Piccadilly Gardens on Saturday (5 March).

The city-region’s Ukrainian community is urging people to come together and send a message against the brutal conflict currently being waged.

Protests against the Russian military advance have been held across the country since war broke out, including one in Manchester last weekend.

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What is happening on Saturday for Manchester Stands With Ukraine?

Anyone wishing to show support for Ukraine and condemn Vladimir Putin’s attack on the country is invited to assemble in Piccadilly Gardens between 2pm and 4pm on Saturday.

Members of local branches of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB) are putting the event together and are currently arranging speakers to address the protest.

The Ukrainian national anthem will also be sung during the demonstration.

Children from the Ukrainian school will leave their Saturday lessons in Cheetham Hill and walk to the city centre rally.

People pass out food that was delivered to people sheltering in the Dorohozhychi subway station in Kyivv which has has been turned into a bomb shelter

And University of Manchester postgrad student Arseniy Panin, who is originally from Kyiv, is running a marathon on Saturday to raise money to support Ukrainian people inside the embattled country and who have fled across the border.

He will set off from the Ukrainian Cultural Centre at 10am and run 13 miles along the canal towpath before heading back to complete the marathon distance at the Queen Victoria Monument.

The event on Saturday will be broadly similar to the one organised last weekend just two days after Russian forces advanced on Ukraine.

Organisers said that attracted a far bigger crowd than they were expecting, with people from Eastern Europe and the Far East turning up to show solidarity.

What have the organisers said about the protest taking place?

The organisers have spoken about Ukraine’s darkest hour and urged people who oppose what is happening the country to come to the city centre and show their support.

Wolodymyr Kowalyszyn, one of the organisers, said: “The world is standing with Ukraine and supporting us.

“We need to make sure that people understand this will not stop at Ukraine. Everyone who thinks this is nothing to do with them need to think again.

“One thing we learn from history is that we do not learn from history.

“We’ve had the first protest and we had Russians, Lithuanians, Belarussians, people from Hong Kong, Taiwanese. It took me by surprise. We thought we would have a couple of hundred people and there were about 2,000 people there.

A fighter of the Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces, the military reserve of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, stands guard at anti-tank constractions on the position at Independence Square in Kyiv on March 2, 2022

“We are taking it all day by day, the circumstances are changing. Nobody expected us to be on the sixth day of us holding out against the might of Russia.

“I’m sure Vladimir Putin thought he would have taken Kyiv.

“We’re doing as much as we can and we have seen how the Ukrainian nation has risen.

“We have been waiting for this for the last eight years, since Crimea.

“We are being supported with a lot of material aid by the nations of the world but it is Ukrainian blood that is being spilt and we need governments to help us because if we don’t defend the country there will be nowhere to send this stuff.”