Andy Burnham Pledges Unwavering Support to Ukraine

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London (Parliament Politics Magazine) – Andy Burnham reaffirms Greater Manchester’s enduring support for Ukraine, promising solidarity for as long as necessary amid ongoing conflict.

Two years on from Russia’s attack on Ukraine, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham reaffirmed the city’s support for the war-torn country. Speaking alongside delegates from the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain and the Manchester-based charity UK-Med, Mr Burnham remarked on the importance of standing by Ukraine for as long as it takes.

Burnham stated: “We made commitments to [the Ukrainian people] two years ago that we would stand with them, and this city region of ours does not make commitments like that lightly.

“We see you, we welcome you, we continue to welcome you here, and we’ll stand with you for as long as it takes. We’re never fair-weather friends here in Greater Manchester; we’ll always stick the course. 

“We must not forget Ukraine.”

The attack began with Russian rocket strikes across Ukrainian cities in the early hours of 24 February 2022.  Ground troops quickly followed, taking over swathes of land in the east and south of the country.

A swift Ukrainian resistance prevented Kyiv’s capital from falling into Russian hands.

Now, two years on, the frontline remains a stalemate, according to the Institute of the Study of War, with Russia still occupying approximately 18% of Ukraine’s territory. Fighting remains intense, and once-thriving cities such as Mariupol have been ruined.

As floods of desperate refugees left the country in the weeks and months after the invasion, many settled in Greater Manchester thanks to the success of the government’s ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme. Though dreaming of the day they will be able to return home, Ukrainians have embraced community life in the UK, according to Petro Rewko, the Chair of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain.

He stated: “They’ve integrated into community life because they see something takes the mind off of what’s going on in Ukraine.

“It’s still hard, still heart-breaking, and we all want this to come to an end as soon as possible.”

In a symbolic motion of support, Mr Burnham declared that Greater Manchester would recognize the mass killing of Ukrainians by the Soviet Union between 1932 and 1933 – known as the Holodomor – as a genocide.

Historians estimate between 3.5 to 7 million Ukrainians died as a result of the man-made famines caused by Stalin.

Mr. Burnham stated that people must recognize that Russia’s invasion of the country is not the first time Ukrainian identity has come under attack.

He expressed: “It’s about recognizing past injustice as well as what’s happening now. It will give some strength to the Ukrainians here and back in the country at this difficult time.

“We recognize how [Ukrainians] see this as an existential attack on their culture and identity, and that’s why we’re trying to help on every single level.”

Read More: Andy Burnham Condemns Government’s Double Standards on Racism

The Mayor is also bringing together cities from around the world into a scheme to help support the Ukrainian city of Lviv in response to a call by its Mayor, Andriy Sadoviy, to help it become 

Daniele Naddei

Daniele Naddei is a journalist at Parliament News covering European affairs, was born in Naples on April 8, 1991. He also serves as the Director of the CentroSud24 newspaper. During the period from 2010 to 2013, Naddei completed an internship at the esteemed local radio station Radio Club 91. Subsequently, he became the author of a weekly magazine published by the Italian Volleyball Federation of Campania (FIPAV Campania), which led to his registration in the professional order of Journalists of Campania in early 2014, listed under publicists. From 2013 to 2018, he worked as a freelance photojournalist and cameraman for external services for Rai and various local entities, including TeleCapri, CapriEvent, and TLA. Additionally, between 2014 and 2017, Naddei collaborated full-time with various newspapers in Campania, both in print and online. During this period, he also resumed his role as Editor-in-Chief at Radio Club 91.
Naddei is actively involved as a press officer for several companies and is responsible for editing cultural and social events in the city through his association with the Medea Fattoria Sociale. This experience continued until 2021. Throughout these years, he hosted or collaborated on football sports programs for various local broadcasters, including TLA, TvLuna, TeleCapri, Radio Stonata, Radio Amore, and Radio Antenna Uno.
From 2016 to 2018, Naddei was employed as an editor at newspapers of national interest within the circuit, including Internazionale24, Salute24, and OggiScuola. Since 2019, Naddei has been one of the creators of the Rabona television program "Calcio è Passione," which has been broadcast on TeleCapri Sport since 2023.