‘We stand together’ – Newcastle city leaders send messages of support to the people of Ukraine

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Political and religious leaders in Newcastle have sent a message of solidarity to the people of Ukraine after Russian forces launched a large-scale military attack.

Newcastle Mayor Habib Rahman has sent a message of support to the city’s namesake in Ukraine after Russian forces invaded the country.

The letter was addressed to Mayor Mykola Borovets, of Novograd-Volynsky City Council, a member of the Newcastles of the World network.

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Cllr Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, also pledged his solidarity on behalf of the city and said: “Like everyone in Newcastle, I am appalled by these horrific events and we stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

“Newcastle is a proud, multi-racial and diverse city and home to Ukrainians who are part of our communities.

“We want to reassure Ukrainian nationals and those of Ukrainian origin in our city of our continued support.

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“We support Ukraine as a sovereign and self-governing state and hope that the situation will soon be resolved peacefully. Our thoughts are with all those affected by the conflict.

Cllr Rahman added: “We strongly condemn the appalling attack on Ukraine and those responsible must be severely punished.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the innocent people affected.”

Likewise, the Bishop of Hexham & Newcastle Robert Byrne issued a message of solidarity for Ukraine.

He said: “At dawn today (24.2.22), the independent country of Ukraine was invaded by its bigger neighbour, Russia. This is an unjustified, unprecedented and widespread military attack against a European country of 44 million people.

“Ukrainian citizens will have expected to start their day, just like the rest of us would – to be free from fear, to have a reassuring idea of ​​what tomorrow might bring.

“Our immediate thoughts and prayers are with all those, regardless of faith, who are affected by this catastrophic course of action.”

He added: “I echo today’s call from the Holy Father, Pope Francis, for an immediate cessation of violence – and for peace and greater stability to return to the country as soon as possible.

“We pray here in Hexham and Newcastle that our government and other world leaders will have the wisdom and strength of purpose to defuse this situation. We know from the Bible, and from the life and teachings of Christ, that strength is rarely, ever right.

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