Nottingham Ukrainians have joined the #WeStandWithUkraine movement to raise awareness for the ongoing border crisis.
This comes after weeks of escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia as Vladimir Putin continues to bolster military forces to the Ukrainian border.
Many first and second generation Ukrainian immigrants living in Nottingham have backed the international support initiative given many fear for the safety of their families back in the country.
The hashtag movement has swept through social media in recent weeks.
Nottingham’s Ukrainian Cultural Centre helps organise a Saturday school in which children of Ukrainian heritage learn about their countries culture, customs, cuisines, history as well as traditional folk songs to better bond with their ancestry.
Headmaster of the Nottingham Ukrainian school, Lina Maksymuk said: “At the school I teach our nations history but we make clear to draw a thin but obvious line in our relationship with Russia.
“I have family and friends back in Ukraine, we just this escalation as just a continuation of the current war in the country.
“What western countries must understand is this brotherly bond we have with Russians is not true, we are a separate and distinct people.”
Tensions arose after Vladimir Putin made a list of demands to NATO and the USA imploring that Ukraine should not be allowed into the defensive pact, alongside a withdrawal of its armed forces from Eastern Europe. To which NATO refuse.
Russian-Ukrainian animosity has been high ever since Russia’s illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula back in 2014.
Fears of a Russian invasion remain prevalent as over 130,000 troops are currently mobilised close to Ukrainian territory in what The Kremlin alleges to be solely military exercises.
Branch Chairman of the NUCC, Michael Holod said: “Putin is playing a chess game to which no one will win.
“The man [Vladimir Putin] doesn’t care about his people only what suits his own interest he is spreading misinformation around his country.”
He added: “I genuinely can’t see Russia invading, I hope he sees some sense that war would cripple his country.
This is a case of government vs people to which no Ukrainians want war and I believe many Russians don’t want it either.”
Ukraine is currently embroiled in a civil war fighting Russian backed separatists in the eastern Luhansk and Donetsk breakaway states which has killed an estimated 14,000 people.
It is evident another conflict in the region would lead to an immense death toll for both sides.
Many in Ukraine and the West are clinging onto hope to the negotiations which are currently ongoing in Geneva to deescalate the crisis.