Nicola Sturgeon offers ‘continued solidarity’ to Ukraine
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has offered “continued solidarity” with Ukraine in a letter to President Volodymyr Zelensky to mark the country’s Independence Day.
She praised Ukrainian’s bravery in the months since Russia launched its illegal invasion and said Scotland would provide sanctuary for those fleeing the war “for as long as they need”.
Sturgeon wrote: “Scotland stands with Ukraine for democracy, human rights and the rule of law at home and abroad.
“Peoples and nations across the world support Ukraine and condemn Putin’s war crimes and Scotland has joined them in taking action to isolate and penalise his regime while doing our utmost to support the people of Ukraine.”
More than 14,000 people have come to Scotland since the start of the conflict under the UK Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme.
Many of them have been able to name the Scottish Government as a “super sponsor”, a part of the scheme set up in a bid to match refugees with hosts more quickly.
However, that scheme was paused for at least three months in mid-July as the Scottish Government struggled with rising numbers of applicants.
Hundreds of Ukrainians are now being housed on a cruise ship docked in Leith. Welfare groups have used the government to find more suitable accommodation.
As well as marking 31 years since Ukraine’s Declaration of Independence was signed, today also marks exactly six months since Russian forces entered Ukraine.
Much of Ukraine’s eastern border is under Russian military control and Zelensky has pledged to “liberate” all territories occupied by Russia.
In a video address today, he said: “We don't care what army you have, we only care about our land. We will fight for it until the end.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also released a video messages making Independence Day. He said: “For however long it takes, the United Kingdom will stand with you.”