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Email: ukrainesolidarity@gmail.com

Monday 18/04/2022

Press release: Nottingham Protest Against Russian War Crimes

Photos

For immediate publication

Nottingham protestors hold die-in protest to raise awareness of war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine.

A protest against Russian war crimes in Ukraine was held today (April 18th) in Nottingham. Members of the Nottingham Ukraine Solidarity Campaign (NUSC) held a die-in protest to highlight atrocities and abuses committed by the Russian army in Ukraine. Demonstrators expressed solidarity with the families and victims of the war who have paid the ultimate price.

About thirty protestors played dead to simulate the atrocities seen in Ukraine, some were even tied up with rope or wore clothes stained with blood to bring home the brutal reality of acts committed by the Russian army. Others held posters showing pictures of the victims of the war such as a photo of Vlad Tanyuk aged 6 whose mother died of starvation in Bucha, other images showed mass graves and the dead. Meanwhile more demonstrators held placards in the shape of tombstones on which the fates of victims at the hands of the invading army were inscribed such as "Bodies trapped under rubble" and "Kramatorsk, 50+ killed and 100+ injured, all innocent.".

A large crowd of spectators gathered to see the event and read about the victims. Afterwards, local Ukrainian children led the crowd in a rendition of 'Shche ne vmerla Ukrainy i slava, i volia', the national anthem of Ukraine.

The event was held in the centre of Nottingham at Old Market Square near the Council House which since the start of the invasion has been flying the Ukrainian flag in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

NUSC organiser, Pete Radcliff, said: “The international bodies to which people have looked to take action against war crimes, such as the United Nations, are in crisis. Over the last twenty years, such crimes have proliferated in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere and no action has been taken.

“Putin has been responsible for many of them. He feels that he, his generals and army will get away with those now committed in Ukraine. And there is that risk.

“Only our vigilance in demanding justice and our mobilisation can stop it. That is why I and others are protesting in Nottingham today.”

Ukrainian citizen living in Nottingham, Zoreana Climenco, said: “We want to bring attention to the violence of Russian soldiers against Ukrainian civilians. They are killing innocent people, raping women and children in Ukraine. The people who support this war are thus supporting war crimes and are themselves participants in these acts.

“We want to tell Nottingham about the victims of the war in the Ukrainian cities and ask the UK government to take tougher measures against Russia.

“Russian troops are shelling and destroying key infrastructure, conducting massive shelling of residential areas of Ukrainian cities and towns using artillery, rocket-propelled grenades and ballistic missiles. Irpin, Bucha, Gostomel and the entire Kyiv region have already been liberated from Russian invaders. Mass killings of civilians by the occupiers were recorded in the liberated towns and villages.

“Among the victims of Russian war crimes already found are raped women whose bodies were tried to be burned, local government officials killed, children, the elderly, and men. Many have their hands tied, there are traces of torture, and many people have been shot in the back of the head.

“UK government must recognise that the situation in Ukraine now has to be treated as a total war. Escalation militarily is possible at any time, especially if Putin realises he cannot present a triumphant victory on May 9th, and unrest grows as body bags start coming home.

“We must stop paying a cent for any Russian oil and gas. If we have to drive more slowly on the motorway and open the windows this summer instead of running air conditioning, that is a very small price to pay compared with those brave Ukrainians being bombed, raped and tortured by these Barbarians.”

Russian citizen living in Nottingham, Irina Holliday, said: “In Russia they believe that the Russian army are angels and liberators, however even during World War II there are memoirs that describe how violent and unnecessarily brutal Russian soldiers were to German women and children and this is exactly what we see now in Bucha and Mariupol.

“There are dozens and dozens of other places in Ukraine where exactly the same thing is happening, Bucha is just one of the places that we have happened to learn about. We cannot let another Bucha happen and we have to end it as soon as possible.”

Event organiser, Tim Porter, said: “Every day we see headlines such as '720 people killed in Bucha' and 'Hundreds of children die in Mariupol attack'. It is important to remember that the victims of this war are not just numbers but that each one was a person with their own life and story. Today we remind people of just how cruely some of these victims were murdered.

“Ukraine defends not just itself but all of Europe from Putin's aggression so we ask that Ukraine continue to be given the full support it needs. Further, that all unnecessary red-tape be cut in providing sanctuary to refugees fleeing the consequences of Russia's war.”

Event organiser, Bou Watson, said: “We cannot look away because we feel uncomfortable or frightened by what we see. As I made the tombstones and ripped and stained the clothes for today's demo, I cried.

“As a mother, grandmother, wife and sister my heart breaks when I see what's happening in Ukraine.

“I was safe, it was a sunny day, I have food and water. But for how long?

“I am a part of this demonstration for those not in safety, dying of hunger and thirst, through no fault of their own. These atrocities are happening everyday, to people just like ourselves who want to go about their everyday lives, free of tyranny and violence.”

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NUSC members are available for interview, please arrange by emailing ukrainesolidarity@gmail.com - To be added to our press list for future events please email the same address.