Ukrainian soldiers have spoken of their hope for their country’s future as a service was held to mark one year since the beginning of the conflict.
Three hundred Ukrainian troops as well as 150 UK, Canadian and Lithuanian soldiers took part in a service at an Army camp in the south-east of England to mark the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine.
Padre John Power of the Royal Lancers led the sunrise service on Friday morning, which included Reveille sounded by a bugler and a rousing rendition of the Ukrainian national anthem.
The event finished with the Lord’s Prayer in English and Ukrainian and a chant of “Slava Ukraini” – meaning “glory to Ukraine”.
Padre Power said: “I think you could tell from the atmosphere when we gathered this morning that it was sombre, but I also maintain that we have to use these services to bring hope for a brighter tomorrow for the people of Ukraine.
“In the British Army we will normally gather and pause in the middle of training to do a field service.
“It’s been a relief to be part of the training here, it’s quite fun, of an evening when I’m alone with some of the Ukrainian troops we will use Google Translate to talk and obviously that doesn’t always work out.
“It really has been a privilege to minister in this way as a chaplain in the Army with such an important group of people for such an important exercise.”
Yuri worked in construction in his home city of Kherson but signed up to join the military after it was occupied by Russia.
He has been training in the UK for three weeks and said: “I am motivated by the fact that my home city was under occupation and a lot of citizens died and a lot of buildings were destroyed.
“The training has been very intensive.
“I send thanks to our international partners and hope that things will improve soon.”
The King has paid tribute to the “remarkable courage and resilience” of Ukraine’s people on the first anniversary of the Russian invasion. Charles, who earlier this week met Ukrainian recruits being trained by UK and international forces, said he hoped the outpouring of solidarity with the nation would bring “strength from the knowledge that, together, we stand united”. In a message to mark one year on from the start of the conflict, […]