Liverpool Ukrainians ‘extremely worried’ about Russian invasion



Ukrainians living in Liverpool are trying to raise awareness about the situation in their home country.

Ukrainians living in Liverpool are increasingly concerned about the safety of loved ones in their home country after Russian troops were ordered into two areas of eastern Ukraine this week.

The Reverend Taras Khomych, a lecturer in theology at Liverpool Hope University and a Ukrainian parish priest in Liverpool, has denounced the “very dangerous situation” in his native country.

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Russian troops massed on the border have moved into two areas – Donetsk and Luhansk, both of which claim independence from Ukraine – sparking fears of a full-scale invasion.

Reverend Khomych said LiverpoolWorld: “Liverpool Ukrainians are worried about their loved ones who live in Ukraine as well as the home country as a whole, but they don’t just want to observe what is happening.”

Ukrainians living in Liverpool are holding in-person and online prayer services and trying to raise awareness about the situation in Ukraine.

Reverend Khomych, who has been a priest with the Liverpool Ukrainian Catholic Community based at St Sebastian’s RC Church since 2017, is on retreat this week at Hinsley Hall, Leeds, with other Ukrainian Catholic clergy to pray for peace in Ukraine.

He said: “The most recent decision of the Russian President, namely the recognition of the so-called separate republics in the east of Ukraine, violates international agreements and creates a very dangerous situation in Ukraine.

“Many Ukrainians feel extremely worried about this new development. At the same time, it is the latest stage of the ongoing conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine, which has been going on since 2014.”

Rev Khomych with the Northwestern Ukrainian community.

Reverend Khomych said: “The Ukrainian army defends the country and is ready to oppose the aggressor.

“Those who are not part of the armed forces at the moment are organizing themselves into territorial defense squads, preparing to defend their own cities or regions in the event of Russian intrusion.

“Liverpool Ukrainians are worried about their loved ones who live in Ukraine as well as the homeland as a whole, but they don’t just want to watch what’s going on.

“In addition to the prayer services organized in person and online, we are also organizing different actions and appeals to do our best to continue to raise awareness of the war and Ukraine more generally, by organizing donations to charities d ‘humanitarian aid”.

A multi-faith service with prayers for peace in Ukraine was held in early February on the steps of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.

Liverpool scholars offer their thoughts on Putin and Ukraine

Meanwhile, academics from the University of Liverpool have write a blog on the Ukrainian crisis for the university.

Dr. Alex MacKenzie, a senior lecturer in the Department of Politics who has researched the ongoing Ukrainian conflict, said: “I don’t see how this would be a short conflict for Russia.

“If there is to be an invasion, it will be repelled by Ukraine, which has improved militarily over the past ten years. They will fight and the population would be mostly hostile.

Michael Hopkins, reader of American foreign policy in the university’s history department, believes that Western governments have acted “much more in unison than Putin expected”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 22, 2022 (Photo by MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)

Dr Hopkins said: “Putin is now in a position where if he does nothing, if he decides to defuse, to roll back his forces, it would all be rather humiliating for him.

“He’s probably hoping there’s going to be a negotiation where a move is made by the United States, and I think Biden might be the kind of person to do that.

“But I don’t think NATO is willing to commit to not allowing Ukraine to ever become a NATO member.”

Beatrice Penati, a lecturer in Russian and Eurasian history at the university, said: “I think Putin climbed a tree and is unable to get down – he basically got himself stuck.”

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