Ukraine: one year on

On the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine, with no sign of peace, the trade union movement prepares to launch a new appeal for trade unionists displaced by the war

UNISON in solidarity with Ukraine graphic

This Friday, 24 February, is the first anniversary of President Putin ordering the Russian invasion of Ukraine, forcing millions of people to flee their homes.

One year on, the people of Ukraine continue to resist the invasion but at great cost. Tens of thousands of Ukrainian and Russian soldiers have lost their lives and many more have been injured.

Over four million Ukrainians live as refugees in neighbouring European countries, while over seven million have been internally displaced within Ukraine.

UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “The international trade union movement was quick to condemn the invasion and swiftly responded by providing support to refugees and humanitarian assistance to people in Ukraine, delivered by the Ukrainian trade union movement.

“Many UNISON branches donated to the ITUC Ukraine appeal and our London Ambulance Service branch delivered 10 ambulances with medical equipment to their Ukrainian colleagues.

“UNISON has continued to show our solidarity with the Ukrainian trade union movement through regular meetings and messages of solidarity.

“In turn, the President of the Ukrainian Trade Union Federation (FPU) sent a message of solidarity on the first day of our ambulance workers strike.

“Next week the TUC will launch a joint appeal with the FPU for humanitarian assistance to internally displaced Ukrainian union members and I would urge branches to donate.

“We all, not least the people of Ukraine themselves, want peace, but it cannot be peace on Putin’s terms. That would only serve to create insecurity in Russia’s other neighbours, such as the Baltic states, Moldova or Poland, and strengthen Putin’s authoritarian regime.

“Any peace agreement has to respect Ukrainian territorial integrity and deliver justice for the people of Ukraine.”