‘We are very worried for our families and the country’ - Ukrainians in Liverpool

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Revd Dr Taras Khomych, a Ukrainian priest and university lecturer in Liverpool, has been speaking out against the war.

Ukrainians in Liverpool are extremely worried after Russian forces launched a full-scale assault on the Eastern European country.

Rev Dr Taras Khomych, a senior lecturer in theology at Liverpool Hope University and priest of a Ukrainian parish in Liverpool, has spoken out about the situation in his home country.

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Rev Khomych he says: "I still can't believe that this is happening. It's very surreal. I would never imagine a war happening in Ukraine in the 21st-century.

“I am very worried for my family, for my parents who are in the western part of Ukraine, for my relatives for my friends, and the country as a whole."

The Mayor of Liverpool has responded to the news that Russian military forces have been deployed in Ukraine.

Mayor Joanne Anderson has said the west must now strain every sinew to convince president Vladimir Putin that "there are no winners in war" and vowed "to do all that we can to support" Ukrainians who have made Liverpool their home.

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She has also instructed St George's Hall to fly the national flag of Ukraine as a symbolic gesture of solidarity.

Rev Khomych has around five Ukrainian families that regularly attend his Liverpool Church (he also preaches in Manchester and Stoke-On-Trent) though he says many more have been in touch since war broke out:

"We are very grateful for all the support we have received from non-Ukrainians from our neighbours, colleagues I've received a lot of messages."

"We're organising services in different parishes but obviously, during this time, people will want to assemble perhaps more often than that pray to God together but also support each other during this period."

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Putin is a "blood-stained aggressor who believes in imperial conquest" and was "always determined to attack his neighbour, no matter what we did", Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told MPs.

Ukrainian cities and air bases have been hit with airstrikes and shelling, and the country lost control of the Chernobyl nuclear site.

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