By Connor Steel
FAREHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL have outlined plans to commemorate the twelve month anniversary of the Ukraine invasion this Friday (February 24); which will see teams work alongside Hampshire Cultural Trust to light up Westbury Manor Museum in blue as the whole nation prepares to pay their own tribute to Ukrainians.
Russia’s President Putin launched a full scale military invasion of neighbouring Ukraine in the early hours of February 24 last year, which has led to thousands of deaths in the twelve months. Over eight million people have fled the country and have sought safe refuge across Europe, including most towns and cities in Britain.
Ramifications of the Russian invasion have affected everybody with an increase in global inflation, seeing oil and gas prices dramatically rise as a result. This has contributed to the ‘cost of living crisis’ with bills such as energy, petrol and food increasing above the average wages; these struggles ongoing despite a stabilisation.
Military fighting is still continuing twelve months on despite worldwide anger and sanctions aimed at isolating Russia, who are said to be planning a massive attack on Ukraine to mark this first anniversary. According to intelligence this could include shelling or missiles being fired towards major cities such as Kherson and Kyiv.
Britain will be marking this anniversary by holding a national one-minutes’ silence at 11am on Friday in order to express solidary with Ukraine and pay respect to the dead. Fareham Borough Councillors have confirmed they are taking part and are encouraging local residents to mark this poignant landmark whenever they can.
Exact timings for the lighting up of Westbury Manor Museum are unknown at the time of writing, although it is expected to follow a similar timetable to a similar event late last year. For one week in October the museum’s exterior was lit up using pink and blue to mark Baby Loss Awareness Week on its 20th year of incorporation.
An anniversary event in Fareham is further scheduled to be taking place on Saturday night (February 25) run by The Fareham and Gosport Homes for Ukraine Group on West Street’s pedestrianised area. Due to begin from 5:15pm this podium event will feature music and a chance for residents to connect by lighting candles.
Leader of the Borough Council Cllr Seán Woodward stated: “I am deeply saddened that we are now marking the 1-year anniversary of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. We offer the small gesture of solidarity with the people of Ukraine as we reflect on the last year and I encourage residents to join us in the minute of silence.”
Meanwhile all residents in Portsmouth have been invited to attend a service from Guildhall Square on Friday beginning at 10:50am. This will see the raising of flags, the minute’s silence at 11am with a speech from Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Councillor Hugh Mason and the City Council leader Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson.
Most sporting events across the country are expected to hold their own 1st year anniversary commemoration this weekend that could include black armbands and a minute of silence before starting. Football teams such as Gosport Borough, Fareham Town and AFC Portchester will likely update their supporters online on Friday.
Readers are encouraged to visit media sites such as BBC News, Sky News and ITV News for all developing updates on the Russia-Ukraine War; including UK national and local events to mark the 1st year anniversary.
PICTURED BY ALAMY (2J7K7JN): Showing aftermath of Russian missile attacks on residential sites in Kyiv.