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Jersey Marks One Year Of War In Ukraine

As people across Jersey mark one year since Russia invaded Ukraine, here's what our island has done to help since the war began.

24 February 2022 saw the beginning of the bloodiest conflict in Europe since World War Two.

Since the war began, Jersey has donated more than £3 million towards the humanitarian add effort, making our contribution per head of the population one of the most generous in the world.

 

Before the war:

Jersey joined the UK on 22 February 2022 in freezing Russian assets of five Russian banks and three oligarchs after troops moved into Ukraine.

In the beginning:

Four days after the war began, Jersey's polish community organised a collection of aid for Ukrainian refugees.

Ukrainian winters can reach lows of -20°C and last until March, so blankets, sleeping bags and clothing was needed urgently in the war-stricken country.

Polish Consul Magdalena Chmielewska praised the incredible response:

"We are no longer Polish, Romanian, local, English - we are one united Jersey community."

Islanders donated three lorries worth of goods including toiletries, clothing and other supplies which went towards helping the 1.2 million refugees that fled to the Polish border.

More than 10,000 bags of supplies were sent, after thousands of islanders dropped off donations at the Parish Halls.

The Bailiff's appeal was then set up, a matter of days after, to coordinate funds to support the people of Ukraine and stand in solidarity with the victims of Russian aggression.

The money raised is distributed by Jersey Overseas Aid (JOA), who recently made a further donation of £400,000 to the aid efforts (more details below).

Jersey Side-by-Side, which was set up after the 2004 Tsunami in South East Asia, processed the donations for tax relief, meaning an extra 25p for every £1 given.

The States also mirrored the UK's visa eligibility to Ukrainians wishing to join family members in Jersey, this included adult parents, grandparents and children over the age of 18.

Jersey also followed the UK in banning Russian aircraft from flying in our territory and Russian-registered boats from calling at our ports.

Condor also waived charges for delivering essential supplies to Ukraine from Jersey and Guernsey.

Condor Freight Director Steve Champion-Smith says they were pleased to do their bit in supporting the aid effort.

"It is really gratifying to see so many islanders who are willing to help and we calculate that we have already transported 100 tonnes of goods."

Just over a week after the invasion began, Jersey had pledged £360,000 worth of aid to Ukrainian's humanitarian support.

The government followed this by donating £1 million to the island's Ukraine Appeal.

On 4 March 2022 Jersey held a candle vigil to show solidarity with Ukraine in the Royal Square The Bailiff, Sir Tim Le Cocq, made a short address: 

 "There is no room for such aggression in the modern world."

Just over two weeks into the invasion, 200 oxygen concentrators, left over from the island's response to the coronavirus pandemic, were sent to the war-torn country.

They were donated by Health & Community Services and shipped to Poland by Jersey Post where JOA's sister agency, Crown Agents, will deliver the breathing equipment to medical teams and hospitals.

Deputy Carolyn Labey, the island's International Development Minister, called it a great example of islanders pulling together for a good cause:

"Like the public’s extraordinary donations of goods and now money to the Bailiff’s Appeal, we see the Island pulling together to help the innocent civilians caught up in Russia’s barbaric war."

Ukrainians living in Jersey organised their own fundraising to help their loved ones and communities back home.

Among them, Natalia Baker, who runs Fresh Crust Pizza, who had family who were trapped in Odessa,

She donated 10% of profits to a cats and dogs shelter which was abandoned by people who fled the city.  Natalia's cousin Tatiana handed over the money:

Money was also sent to Palianytsia volunteer centre which helps single mothers, children and people with disabilities.

More than £712 million in Russian assets in Jersey had been frozen by the end of March.

The following months:

The war in Ukraine did not show any signs of stopping by mid-April, but islanders kept donating and kept showing their solidarity with Ukraine.

Six Jersey firefighters drove two decommissioned fire engines and protective clothing and medical supplies to the Polish border to help the Ukrainian emergency services.

Luke Burton and his colleagues also took soft toys for the Ukrainian children:

"Fundamentally it was just a 999 call."

"Somebody needed us so we went to go and do a job.  It is not often that we can help other Fire and Rescue Services because we are such a small service, so having the opportunity to help another Fire and Rescue Service is a great thing to be able to do."

 

Just two months after Russia crossed the Ukrainian boarders, Jersey's appeal had raised £750,000- with more than £100,000 from one family alone.

In July 2022, Romerils showed-off their new mural - a visual reminder of the importance of standing for freedom. - on the side of the department store along Dumaresq St.

The mural included nightingales and sunflowers, which are Ukraine's national symbols.

Today:

Four days ago the JOA announced a further £400,000 to Ukraine, partly for bomb disposal training for Ukrainians, by the Friends of Ukraine Explosive Ordinance Device, a Guernsey-based charity.

On Wednesday 22 February 2023, parishioners voted that St. Helier will be twinned with the city of Mykolaiv.

The one year anniversary is being observed today (24 February) with a minute silence at 11am and a concert held at the Town Church at 6pm.

Chief Minister Deputy Kristina Moore has made this statement:

" Jersey stands united with the international community in its condemnation of this act of aggression and we continue to provide support to the Ukrainian people.

Jersey has welcomed 37 Ukrainian nationals to our Island as part the Family Visa Scheme, with one more expected shortly. The Ukrainian people have been a credit to themselves, their families, and their proud nation. We will continue to support them during their time of need...

...It has been a year of unimaginable grief and distress for the Ukrainian people and Islanders have once again shown their spirit of generosity and community by continuing to support those affected by the war in Ukraine."

 

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