The president of Lancaster University’s Ukraine Society (LUUS) has called for peace in her home country.
Second year student Mariya Sharpak, 20, said one of the society’s main aims was to support people in Ukraine who have been injured by the ongoing conflict, which started with a series of violent episodes in the capital Kiev earlier this year.
The conflict escalated, leading to the downfall of the government of President Viktor Yanukovych and the setting up of a new government to replace it. Yanukovych fled to Russia, and is wanted in Ukraine for the killing of protesters. The conflict continued when Pro-Russian forces seized control of the Crimea region of Ukraine.
Mariya said: “Every individual that lives in the democratic state has the right to the freedom of choice.
“The most important thing is that the state respects the choice of the individual, and there should be respect from both sides.”
LUUS was created in January 2013, and since then has been organising charity events to raise money for injured Ukrainians, both police and protestors.
Last week the society organised a six day charity event culminating with a concert for people on campus, raising over £400.
Members wore traditional dress, sang the Ukrainian anthem and read famous national poems.
“The riots in Kiev and other Ukrainian cities made us think to organise more events to support people in the Ukraine,” Mariya added.
“We’re worrying about the situation in Ukraine, and seeing many injured people from both sides of the conflict, the active members decided to organise another apolitical event, called ‘I support people in Ukraine’.
“This idea found strong support and co-operation among our friends from Poland, Romania, Moldavia, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Georgia.
“Together we’re trying to help people in Ukraine overcome a difficult time. I just want peace in the country.”