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Chairman re-enforces support for Ukraine on invasion anniversary

24 February 2023

On the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine, chair of Cambridgeshire County Council Cllr Stephen Ferguson gave a speech outside New Shire Hall.

The speech is below:

Unlike most anniversaries or events I mark as chair of Cambridgeshire County Council, I come to this one with a very heavy heart.

Reaching the first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine with a bitter war still being fought and many thousands of people displaced from their homes is something I hoped never to see.

But today, we are once again raising the Ukrainian flag at our council headquarters and at other buildings we own, in solidarity with our Ukrainian friends and neighbours. This is to remind them that we in Cambridgeshire stand with them, whether they are fighting to repel those who would seek to take over their land, or whether they have found a place of temporary safety in the UK.

I would particularly like to say to those who have found homes with relatives or host families in Cambridgeshire that you are most welcome here. Across all the public services in the county we will continue to do all we can to support you, even while we recognise that your hearts remain in your own country, and that you are longing to return to a safe and reunited nation as soon as this is possible.

I would also like to thank those residents of Cambridgeshire who have opened their homes to people fleeing the war, or who have helped and supported in other ways. Our county has a long and proud tradition of offering help and support to people facing crisis and this is just one demonstration of this continuing.

Later this morning our council will take part in the national minutes silence at 11am – to mark this terrible anniversary, to think of those who are fighting, or those who are separated from the people that they love and to earnestly hope for peace to return to Ukraine.

I would ask you to think of these things now as we watch the Ukrainian flag flying at New Shire Hall.