Ukrainian students in Nottingham whose families live in Ukraine amongst the ongoing Russian military aggression have come together to create a movement to support those affected and educate people on the conflict.
The movement #StudentsAgainstWar aims to educate by directing people to trustworthy news outlets, bringing awareness to upcoming protests across the country and by providing letter templates for students to reach out to their universities for open statements of support.
They also network with students all around the world to organise transportation of Humanitarian Aid to Ukraine.
The people of Nottingham have been showing their support by gathering near Old Market Square on two consecutive Sundays to stand in solidarity.
Anastasiia Kliuha is one of the students who created the movement. Her family are currently in Kyiv facing the brunt of the Russian invasion while she lives in Nottingham with plans to return home after her year of studying for her masters degree in law.
She was born in a small town in Western Ukraine close to the Hungarian border and at 14 she moved to the capital with her family.
With fellow students in similar positions to herself, the movement has already managed to gain support from universities all around the world including Harvard University, Princeton University, University of Notre Dame and the Chevening Alumni of Mexico.
“they send a signal to the UK government saying…Ukraine needs you!”
Anastasiia Kliuha, Law Student, University of Nottingham.
She shared the heartache she faces every day, with the only form of contact with her family being by text message, not knowing of their safety at all times while Russia attack Kyiv with air raids.
She said that her friends living in the capital are scared to leave due to their fear of being bombed on their way.
Anastasiia said that the protests happening in Nottingham are more gatherings of solidarity: “It was very beautiful to see so any many people standing together” and that “they send a signal to the UK government saying… Ukraine needs you!”
Video: the gathering in Old Market Square, Nottingham
Nottingham is home to many migrant populations. The city council estimates that over 42% of its population are from backgrounds other than white-British.
The Ukrainian Cultural Centre on Mansfield Road provides a place for Ukrainian nationals living in Nottingham a sense of home comforts and a community to confide in.
Sonia Ball runs a day centre where she looks after the elderly of Nottingham’s Ukrainian community.
She expressed her gratitude towards the support of Nottingham locals towards her community but shared her thoughts that it was time for western countries to acknowledge what Ukrainians have been going through for years due to Russian military aggression.
Audio: Sonia Ball talking on the UK’s support towards Ukraine
Ukraine has accused Russia of committing many war crimes during the invasion, including the shelling of a humanitarian corridor.
Russia has threatened to cut gas supplies to its civilians if the west decides to impose a ban on Russian oil.
Many say that Russia is aiming to hurt civilians as areas such as universities have been hit but Russian representatives deny this allegation.
Links to important sites and information sources of how you can help can be found below.
Gofundme page the Ukrainian Cultural Centre support – HelpUkraine
All donations made to this link go directly to humanitarian aid for those in Ukraine. There are no organisations or CEOs taking cuts from the money raised.
Students Against War recommended trusted news organisations:
YOUR ACTION TEMPLATE
- Address your local MP
- Join a Protest to Support Ukraine (in person or online)
- Send a personal letter to Your university
- sign open letter to the UK government
- make a donation