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Hundreds gather in Bath to show support for Ukraine Bath City News

Hundreds of people gathered in Bath to show their support for Ukraine. Crowds gathered to demonstrate against Russia’s invasion of the country and show solidarity with Ukrainians in the face of the huge crisis.

The ‘Bath Stands with Ukraine’ began at 10am outside Bath Abbey on Saturday March 5 and protesters heard a number of speeches. Dr Stephen Hall, professor of Russian politics at the University of Bath, took the microphone with Ivan Golobow, professor of Russian studies at the same institution. Local Ukrainian and Russian students also had the chance to speak.

The event was a celebration of Ukrainian culture, with traditional music and sweets. Organizers were keen to stress that any aggression towards Russians would generally not be tolerated, but criticism of Putin and the government could be discussed.

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Many attendees at the event called on the government to provide refuge to those fleeing war. Liberal Democrat MP for Bath Wera Hobhouse was also a guest speaker at the event.

She said: “We see the foundations of our democratic way of life shaken by an aggressor who does not share our values. The Conservative government must make an ambitious commitment to Ukrainians fleeing Putin’s invasion and regime. trip for Ukrainians seeking safe haven in the UK. At the same time, local councils must receive adequate funding to welcome refugees into our communities.

“I know that Bath and North East Somerset are waiting to open their doors to Ukrainian refugees, but they cannot be expected to carry this burden alone. Apart from the harshest possible sanctions against Putin and his buddies, this crisis demands a coordinated humanitarian response, anything else would play into Putin’s hands by further destabilizing our continent.

Wera Hobhouse at a protest in Bath against Putin’s invasion of Ukraine (Image: Clive Dellard)

She continued: “I stand with Ukraine and had the honor of speaking at the rally last weekend with other Bathonians. In Bath we are ready to welcome refugees fleeing the terror that Putin inflicted on them, but without government support, that public goodwill will be wasted.

Today (7 March), Boris Johnson said more could be done to tackle Russian financial institutions and individuals linked to Vladimir Putin’s regime.

The Prime Minister said the “frantic” acts of aggression were resulting in “huge waves” of refugees being forced from their homes. The UK has been criticized for refusing to open its borders to Ukrainians, but Mr Johnson has insisted the country will welcome those fleeing the fighting as thousands of visa applications are being processed.

Further talks were expected between the two sides as fighting continued in Ukraine, while Moscow’s promise of humanitarian corridors was dismissed as “cynical” as civilians would be forced into Russia or its ally Belarus.

Listen to Bath Wera Hobhouse MP deliver her speech at the protest below

In London, Mr Johnson was beginning a week of intense diplomatic efforts with foreign leaders to build a united front against Mr Putin, hosting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

He is due to meet with US President Joe Biden on Monday. Speaking at RAF Northolt in west London, Mr Johnson said: ‘Obviously what’s happening now is Putin is doubling down on his aggression and he decides to attack quite indiscriminately.

“It’s producing huge waves of people, we’re going to have to respond to that and we will.”

The Home Office revealed that only “about 50” visas had been granted under Ukraine’s family program as of 10 a.m. Sunday, but Mr Johnson said “thousands” of applications were being processed.

In addition to visas offered to people with family in the UK, a humanitarian sponsorship program will allow people and organizations to bring Ukrainians to the UK.

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The Prime Minister said: “As the situation in Ukraine deteriorates, people are going to want to see this country open our arms to people fleeing persecution, fleeing a war zone.

“I think people who have spare rooms, who want to receive people from Ukraine, will want us to have a system that allows them to do so. And it is already happening. »

Rockets continued to rain down on Ukrainian cities and Mr Johnson indicated that Western sanctions against Mr Putin and his regime would be tightened.

“Now that he’s getting into this really rampant attack on cities, now that he’s attacking civilians the way he’s doing, I think we have to recognize that we have to do more on sanctions,” the prime minister said. .

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This notice was published: 2022-03-07 14:16:52

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