NUSC held a huge march through Nottingham with over 400 people in attendance. The march started at Speakers’ Corner and continued up Long Row, along Clumber Street and then towards Hockley and back to Old Market Square.
People held banners highlighting Russian war crimes and terrorist activity.
In Old Market Square, the crowd received messages of support from local community leaders, including Lilian Greenwood, MP for Nottingham South, who said Putin believed the West would tire of supporting Ukraine, but today was evidence that Putin I was wrong.
Mina Fatemi of the campaign group “Women, Life, Freedom” spoke about the struggle of people in Iran against their own oppressive regime and said that the reluctance of the UK government and other Western countries to list the IRCG as a terrorist group was similar to delays. and vacillations that prolong the Russia-Ukraine war and continue to cost lives and livelihoods.
He expressed his solidarity with Ukraine and his anger at the fact that the Iranian government provides drones to Russia, saying that no human being is truly safe and free until all human beings are safe and free.
• Ukraine soldiers thank former Nottinghamshire police officers
There were various performances by the Ukrainian community, including songs and an emotional performance by the group “Only Peremoga” showing the plight and struggle of a family whose home has been destroyed and their lives torn apart by the Russian invasion.
Michael Holod, president of the Nottingham branch of the Ukrainian Cultural Centre, said: “Last night we held a vigil to remember all those who are no longer with us. To pay our respect to all those who have suffered unimaginable pain mentally and physically.
“365 days later, Ukraine is still fighting for its very existence for what we can now say is a recognized terrorist state. Russia has shown what the West is really like. We, as Ukrainians, have known his true identity for much longer.
• Nottingham City March marks one year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
“Look at how President Zelenskyy has talked to his people on video every night and stayed with them when he could have left the country in the first place. The time has come, the man has arrived, and he has led by example and has been humble and resistant in the most difficult circumstances. President Zelenskyy has been a shining beacon for the Ukrainian people and has shown that the Ukrainian people are brave and resilient and will win this war as long as the West gives them the tools to succeed.
“What has Putin done? He has led his country to a dead end, has shown his regime to be corrupt and has no love or respect for its own people, let alone its military, who have been misled, misinformed and many used as fodder for Canyon.
“It has been a tough year for all of us, but together we have come this far and together we must stay, to reach the end of the first phase and achieve total victory for Ukraine. Complete victory is to recapture all the territory that Russia claims as the new land of hers, including Crimea ”.
• Nottinghamshire County Council celebrates one year anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine
Steve Palmer, NUSC organizer, said:
“One year ago, Russia launched its full-scale invasion of a peaceful, democratic and sovereign Ukraine. Russia is waging a genocidal war on a scale not seen in Europe since World War II. Russia has committed and continues to commit heinous barbaric acts and war crimes against the Ukrainian people.
“We made a promise, never again, never again is now. We, the free democratic world, cannot forget this promise, we must provide all economic, humanitarian and military aid to ensure that Ukraine can win this war and win it as quickly as possible, to save as many Ukrainian lives as possible.
“To maintain and increase this support and counter disinformation from Russia, we must raise awareness about the plight of Ukraine. We must be in the streets to engage with the people, to send a clear message to our leaders of how we feel, that we stand behind their support for Ukraine. And we must take the time to remember the cost in Ukrainian lives to defend their freedom and ours.”
Tim Porter, NUSC organizer, said: “A year is too long. Each life lost and each day that passes is an additional tragedy. Last night was an opportunity to remember those who have lost their lives defending their homeland.
“Now we must do everything in our power to help Ukraine defend itself and achieve a speedy resolution that includes the complete removal of Russian troops from Ukraine and upholds the sovereign integrity of Ukraine, including the return of Crimea. In addition, we must ensure the prosecution of all those responsible for the countless war crimes committed against Ukrainian citizens.
“We are grateful for the support given to Ukraine by the UK government and partners around the world, from anti-tank weapons to MLRS systems, and the recent commitment to deliver Leopard and Challenger tanks. But we must do more. We must listen to the requests of the Ukrainian government, especially President Zelenskyy’s recent request regarding fighter jets, and provide Ukraine with everything it needs as Ukrainians fight to protect themselves from Russian expansionism.”