Hundreds of Sheffield residents attended Sheffield town hall yesterday to voice their support for Ukraine in their war against Russia.
Chants of ‘Putin Out, Freedom In’ and ‘Stop Putin, Stop the War’ were popular as the crowd voiced their unhappiness with the Russian leader’s actions.
Attendees were invited to air any thoughts they had. Speakers included people from across Sheffield including emotional testimonials from Ukrainians worried about their families at home.
Sofiya Lytvyn is a Ukrainian national living in Sheffield, whose parents currently remain in Kiev. She said: “I have been praying for rockets not to hit my house and my friends are fighting. I really appreciate any support and its shows that people care.”
It is estimated that 250 people attended the protest. It was originally promoted on Facebook but the demonstrators were joined by shoppers who stopped to join throughout the day.
Shaffaq Mohammed, councillor for Ecclesall and leader of the Sheffield Liberal Democrats, helped organise the protest. He said: “I was very proud to see Sheffield turn out in such big numbers at short notice.
“You need to show compassion and you need to support people in their time of need. If society just looks after its own, and no one cares about anyone else, that’s a poor world we live in and it’s not one I want to bring my children up in.”
Elena Mandrik, organiser and member of the group Sheffield Stands With Ukraine, said: “I was really touched by the number of people who turned out
“We need to act and we need to act now. All actions matter and the more voices there are, the more politicians will hear us and the quicker they will react.”
Further protests are planned for later in the week including one today outside the town hall at 6pm organised by the Ukraine Solidarity Campaign. All 84 councillors from Sheffield City Council are set to come together before Wednesday’s budget meeting in a united demonstration backing the Ukrainian people.