THE LEADERS of the parties on Coventry City Council have joined forces to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and to express their sympathy to those affected.
It came yesterday, a day after council representatives met with the city’s branch of the Association for Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB) and, in response to a plea from the group, took down the Russian Federation flag from Coventry Council House.
Council leader and deputy leader Coun George Duggins and Coun Abdul Salam Khan (Labour), the leader and deputy leader of the Conservative Group, Coun Gary Ridley and Coun Peter Male and the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor, Coun John McNicholas and Coun Kevin Maton said their prayers went out to Ukraine and its people.
The statement read: “We are deeply disturbed at the events in Ukraine overnight and offer our deepest sympathy to the people of Ukraine. We condemn this unprovoked aggression and call upon President Putin to call off this assault.
“Although we can do little about international events, Coventry is famed as a city of peace and reconciliation, and a welcoming city that is home to all faiths, races and backgrounds, and our prayers are with all those affected by these terrible events in Ukraine.
“We are proud to have strong Ukrainian and Russian communities in our city, that, together with others, have brought so much to our lives. They share their cultures and traditions and they have helped to make our city the friendly, multicultural home it is.
“Many of them will be worried for family and friends back home, and we would like them to know that they are all in our thoughts and that we are there to offer support, as neighbours, friends and as a city.
“All the people we welcome are individuals who come to our city to start a new life in peace and friendship. Many have troubled homelands, but they join us as Coventrians and a part of our One Coventry, and we are honoured to have them.
“Coventry will always work for peace, friendship and understanding around the world, and here at home, and we know all the many communities in our city are united in their desire for a swift end to all hostility and a return to peace.”