Home   Bury St Edmunds   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Bury St Edmunds and Ukrainian community gathers to mark two years since the start of Russian invasion





Demonstrators gathered in Bury St Edmunds town centre to mark the second anniversary of the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

More than 70 people, including Ukrainians and the Bury St Edmunds community, were on Angel Hill on Saturday to call for an end to the war and reflect on the lives lost since the start of the conflict.

Vira Popowa, 45, who arrived in Suffolk with her nine-year-old daughter, Ieva, and her mum in April 2022, said it was an emotional and painful day.

The Ukrainian and the Bury St Edmunds community gathered to mark the second anniversary since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Picture: Mecha Morton
The Ukrainian and the Bury St Edmunds community gathered to mark the second anniversary since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Picture: Mecha Morton

“During the event, everybody remembered the first moments of the war,” said Vira. "We never imaged it would last two years and now we don’t know when it will finish.

“We’re stressed and our situation is very unpredictable.

“A lot of Ukrainians were crying because it was very difficult to imagine that the war started two years ago. There was so much pain and so many tears.

The invasion started on February 24, 2022. Picture: Mecha Morton
The invasion started on February 24, 2022. Picture: Mecha Morton

“We feel pain because our stunning towns are burning. Nearly 50 per cent of my hometown Kharkov was destroyed, including hospitals, residential areas, schools and nurseries.

“I can’t imagine how many years we’ll need to recover from this.”

When asked where she sees her future, Vira said: “We would love to return to our home when it’s a safe place again.

Demonstrators remembered those who lost their lives since the start of the conflict. Picture: Mecha Morton
Demonstrators remembered those who lost their lives since the start of the conflict. Picture: Mecha Morton

“At first, it seemed like we could return quickly, but now it’s absolutely indefinite.”

Vira said the support from communities from all over the world, including here in Suffolk, is what has helped Ukrainian people to keep going.

“We’re strong but we have no choice,” she said. “The whole world supports us and it helps us to be stronger, resilient and have hope for the future.

“British people are extremely generous, very welcoming and supportive. We feel such a warm atmosphere.

“They’ve let complete strangers live in their homes.

“We have become friends and we’ve become part of the community.”