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Sheffield expresses its outrage at Russian war crimes in Ukraine

As well as a series of demonstrations this weekend against the war, organisations across the city have started collecting humanitarian supplies.

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Demonstrators against Russia's war on Ukraine outside Sheffield Town Hall on Sunday.

Bill Stewardson.

In a series of protests over the weekend Sheffield expressed solidarity with the people of Ukraine, as civilians in the country continue to fall victim to Russian war crimes.

Organisations across the city have also started collecting humanitarian supplies to send to the country, including clothing, medicine and toiletries.

Members of the city's Ukrainian community have coordinated efforts to collect donations, with one person planning on driving from Sheffield to the Ukrainian border in Poland to hand over supplies.

"We set up the protest to support Ukraine in their fight with the imperial fascistic ambitions of Russia, who are attacking my country for what is already the sixth day," Lena Mandrik, who organised Friday's demonstration, told Now Then.

"Before this event we did not have a group of Ukrainians in Sheffield because we never needed one, but the war united us all in the common attempt to stop the crime going on against my nation."

Russia targeted civilians in the north-east city of Kharkiv with rockets yesterday, in an action that Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said constituted a war crime.

A small anti-war demonstration took place outside Sheffield Town Hall on Friday evening, with much bigger protests on Sunday afternoon and Monday evening.

On Monday hundreds of people braved heavy rain to oppose Russia's war, with banners reading "Solidarity with Ukraine!" and "Polite notice: Putin go f*ck yourself".

One Ukrainian student said that his mum back home was currently taking refuge in a basement, and that he was sending her photos of every protest in Sheffield to show her the city's solidarity.

Foodhall on Brown Street are collecting blankets, bedding, toiletries, menstrual products, nappies, first aid equipment, masks, hand sanitiser, adults and childrens' clothing and cardboard boxes.

Sacred Heart Church in Hillsborough, Louise Haigh MP's office in Heeley, Dora Food Plus in Attercliffe, and a Ukrainian family in Manor are all taking collections to send to the country (each organisation is accepting different items, so check before taking anything).

Sheffield City Council have lit up the Town Hall clock tower in the blue and yellow of Ukraine over the weekend, and are flying the country's flag from the building.

A joint statement issued by the Labour, Lib Dem and Green leaders on the council said that they stood against "the bullying tactics of the Russian state and the unimaginable military aggression that Ukraine is now facing."

Since 1956 Sheffield has been twinned with Donetsk, a city in the east of Ukraine that is currently under Russian military occupation.

"Western countries can’t stand aside, they need to block any dirty money and any Russian investments to put pressure on Russian oligarchs and Putin supporters," said Mandrik.

"It's also important to block any operations with all Russian companies, break any commercial ties completely in order to isolate Russia from the world, and to stimulate people in Russia to stand up against their dictator."

Where you can donate supplies

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