Reading Borough council show their support for the local Ukrainian community by raising the nations flag at their council buildings.

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the threat of thousands of lives lost, Rachel Eden, the mayor of Reading has said that she has been in close contact with Reading Ukrainian Centre over the last week.

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Leader of Reading Borough Council, Jason Brock said: “What many may not be so aware of is that Berkshire is home to a sizeable Ukrainian community and diaspora.

“As such, we should all be acutely aware that the war in Ukraine, and the human tragedy it brings, will be very strongly felt by many in our neighbourhoods.

“I am not sure that I can, in truth, genuinely imagine what it must feel like to be terrified for the lives of your family and friends in the face of military aggression. I certainly cannot imagine how an entire community feels when their country faces a truly existential threat.”

He added: “Reading has a long and proud tradition of showing its support and compassion for those suffering from wars across the world. I am sure we will collectively demonstrate those positive qualities yet again and, should it be required, I know that our town can once more provide sanctuary and a new home to any who require it.

“Naturally, I retain a hope that the international community can find a resolution that does not entail capitulation to those who seek to undermine international order.

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“I hope, and fully anticipate, that people across Reading will demonstrate their support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. Among the myriad ways that individuals will elect to do just that, I also hope that people will choose to express their solidarity by supporting the work of the Reading Ukrainian Community Centre because I genuinely believe in the power of positive localism to build something enduringly strong.”