Refugees from Ukraine who now live in Petersfield have marked one year since their country was invaded by Russian troops.

Members of the local Ukrainian community toured the town centre to remind local people of their plight one year one.

The refugees held a silence at 11am in memory of those who have died in the conflict.

Petersfield library is also hosting an exhibition this week inside the foyer and members of the community encourage us all to visit over the next few days.

The refugees have repeated their deep thanks to families in and around Petersfield who have taken them into their homes during this conflict.

Ukraine support table in Petersfield library
Ukraine exhibition in Petersfield library

Iva’s account

Iva Repnytska shares this personal account of the day’s events in Petersfield.

Members of Petersfield's Ukrainian community outside St Peter's church
Members of Petersfield’s Ukrainian community outside St Peter’s church

Today in Petersfield, we walked around the city with the Ukrainian flag and terrible photos of our destroyed cities to remind the residents of Petersfield of the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

At 11 o’clock we observed a moment of silence for all those who died during this terrible year of war.

And then in the local library, we were given a place to discuss the pains and fears that we had this year with the Ukrainians.

I quote below, but it is provided with the permission of those who spoke.

Quotations from some of those affected one year ago

“I remember how we had to leave with my daughter. The journey took almost 20 hours, but the child simply froze and did not ask for anything. We were just saving our lives. This year passed quickly. No one expected that the war would last so long.”

“I didn’t want to leave my house. I saw everything burning from the window, but I was sure that everything would be fine with my children. I was afraid to leave. Despite the fears and pain that I experienced during this year – I became stronger. When the war ends – we will definitely return home”

“After I left Ukraine and my children were taken away, I froze for 3 months. I did not feel the joy of life, even though I was safe. I just cried every day, but tears did not bring me relief. I do not know what the future of my family. I plan only for the near future. But I believe in the victory of Ukraine and we will definitely return home. Ukraine is our soul.”

Members of Petersfield's Ukrainian community hold a minute's silence outside St Peter's church
Members of Petersfield’s Ukrainian community hold a minute’s silence outside St Peter’s church

Thanks from Iva

I sincerely thank all residents of Petersfield for sheltering Ukrainians in their homes.

You have taken an important step in saving our nation from the Russian genocide.  The exhibition on the 1st year of the war will be in the Library for one week.