A Salford councillor from Ukraine fears the worst for her country and worries as her family refuse to leave the capital Kyiv.
Tanya Burch, Ordsall Labour Councillor, said: “I grew up in Ukraine. I went to school with Russian girls and boys. For Russia to attack us, it was incomprehensible. All I can say is that we’re standing for our identity as a free nation.”
“We don’t want to fight; we don’t want to kill Russians. It’s heart-breaking. Today I’ve only cried a couple of times uncontrollably.”
Burch’s family all have worked within Kyiv and refused to leave when presented with the opportunity to come to England.
Her nephew owns a multimillion-pound business in the centre of the capital. She said that he’s working around the clock to support refugees with everything such as food and blankets, and he’s even in meetings that are arranging practical support for the Army.
She added: “I still have friends in Russia you know I’m messaging them, trembling thinking please be normal, please be sane. My friends are saying we are shocked, we are embarrassed, and we feel helpless.”
Burch is encouraging the people of Salford to show their support to Ukraine by donating to reliable charities and spreading awareness across social media platforms.
She said: “There is so much we can do. Silence at this time is criminal. The best thing that people can do in these practical terms is to send money via reputable organisations. For instance, we sent to my nephew and he went to the stores and in twenty minutes he had already sent me photographs of what he’d provided for the refugees.”
On Thursday March 3, a rally outside of the Civic Centre in Salford is being held from 1-2pm. Mayor Paul Dennett will be in attendance, showing his support by raising the Ukrainian flag.