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  • Scarlett Mullender

“Let Them Die with Dignity”: Manchester Marches Alongside Ukraine

By Scarlett Mullender | Saturday 5th March 2022

Image: Scarlett Mullender


Thousands of people gathered in Piccadilly Gardens on Saturday to protest against Russia’s occupation of Ukraine.

Dozens sported the country’s signature blue and yellow colour scheme with makeup, clothing, signs and flags at the event, which was organised by the Ukrainian Cultural Centre ‘Dnipro’ in Manchester.

It comes after Russia declared war against the country a week ago.

The protest, which lasted from 2–4pm, included a combination of patriarchal songs (such as the Ukrainian National Anthem), chants involving stopping both Putin and the war, and testimonies from those voicing their connection with the country.


Image: Scarlett Mullender


Tears were shed and hugs given, as a community came together to stand strong during the toughest of times.

One young woman, who chose not to be named, was on the way to the protest with her young daughter, sporting yellow roses tinted with blue acrylic. Her Grandad fought for Ukraine’s independence.

She said: “I can feel their fear. I’ve been to Kyiv, I’ve walked those streets, it’s a beautiful city. It’s breaking my heart seeing this happen”

A commonly believed trigger for Ukraine’s conflict with Russia is their desire to join NATO, a military organisation granting them safety within numbers.


Image: Scarlett Mullender


In response to this issue, the woman continued: “They want to be free, they want to be European, they want to be like us and have European values. It’s a huge injustice that people are being invaded when they’ve done nothing wrong.

“They’re being persecuted and I think it’s heart breaking.”


Image: Scarlett Mullender


Fellow protestors echoed similar sentiments, with many having fled Ukraine in the days prior to the event.

One Ukrainian woman described the state of her family members that remain in the country, saying: “There was a lot of shooting. They are extremely scared and I am scared for them too, so let’s fight till the last!!

Many Ukrainian nationals were warmed by the solidarity shown by locals and foreigners alike, providing the necessary comfort for a nation whose fallen civilian numbers are rising hourly.


Image: Scarlett Mullender


According to Military Major General Igor Konashenkov, 2870 Ukrainian troop members have been killed, 3,700 injured and 572 captured by Russian authority since the invasion began on 24th February.

More than 2,000 Ukrainian civilians have also reportedly died, according to Ukraine’s State Emergency Services, though all claims of deaths cannot be verified.


Image: Scarlett Mullender


One Ukrainian native who was especially grateful for the support was Nicki, who had fled the nation days prior to the protest.

She said of local supporters: “I’m grateful people like you are here, and that they’re raising their voices.

“They’re stopping Visas at the moment (for the Ukrainian people) to the UK so that’s kind of cruel, but at least the neighbouring nations are opening their borders which is nice.

“My mum lives here, luckily we have a place to come to.

“Everybody needs a Visa to get to another country so lots of students have been stuck for a while.”


Image: Scarlett Mullender


Alongside the masses of Ukrainians were foreign supporters, from Manchester/Greater Manchester and beyond, who were eager to voice their support.

Many residents of Hong Kong, Poland, Russia and Greater Manchester, to name but a few, protested proudly alongside their foreign neighbours, demanding justice for those in need.

A woman from the community of Bradford could be heard saying: “When we all go home tonight to our nice warm houses and our beds, remember there are people here today like this boy at the front.

“His Grandma slept in a bomb shelter last night, we need to remember this is real, people are being killed.”

Similarly, a Manchester born male urged crowds to help the people of Ukraine get the assistance they vitally require; he said: “If Ukrainian lives don’t matter, fine, but let them die with dignity. Give them something with which to defend themselves. We need defences!”


Image: Scarlett Mullender


People from Hong Kong could be seen holding signs depicting the words: ‘Hong Kong Stands with Ukraine’, a mantra inspired by the shared impact of the communist regime between the two nations.

A Hong Kong protestor stated: “Don’t let them fight Russia alone. All countries in the world, please help Ukraine. Help them! And free them!”

Even a Russian male, who had escaped the brutality of his home country the week prior, stressed to the hundreds of protestors that he wished to see his country wake up and get outside of Putin’s regime.


Image: Scarlett Mullender


Though many are left unsure about the next exact movement of Russia’s military forces, the troops are continuing to advance over cities close to their own borders, such as Chernihiv and Kharkiv.

The majority’s feelings regarding the war can be summed up via this quote from a Manchester protestor: “If the Russian puts down its arms, the war stops. If Ukraine puts down its arms, it ceases to exist.”

Donations can be made to reputable Ukrainian Aid charities via @RazomForUkraine | Linktree .

For those unable to donate, they are strongly urged to write to their local MP demanding action from the UK Government in support of those affected.

Local MPs can be found via Find your MP — MPs and Lords — UK Parliament .


Image: Scarlett Mullender








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