Ukrainian flag and monument to independence: Independence Square (the Maidan), Kyiv, Ukraine

Ukrainian flag and monument to independence:  Independence Square (the Maidan), Kyiv, Ukraine

As Ukraine marks its national day on 24 August, Swansea University and staff members continue with efforts to support the country and its people, in the wake of the invasion by Russian forces in February.

The support from Swansea is in line with the Vice Chancellor’s statement, issued at the time of the invasion, which underlines that the University “stands with the people of Ukraine in defence of their sovereignty, independence, and democratic freedoms.”

Ukraine’s National Day commemorates the country’s declaration of independence in 1991, after the break-up of the former Soviet Union.

One area of support that the University is finalising is a twinning agreement with a Ukrainian university, which will pave the way for research partnerships, sharing online teaching and learning materials, and opportunities for students and staff from Ukraine to visit Swansea.

It is the latest in a series of partnerships between UK and Ukrainian universities, set up by umbrella body Universities UK International and the Cormack Consultancy Group to support the country.

These partnerships are intended to encourage the sharing of resources and support in a collective gesture of solidarity and reciprocity to help Ukrainian institutions, staff and students.

Swansea University is also exploring ways of providing support for students and members of staff from other Ukrainian universities.

Members of staff at Swansea are also involved in community initiatives to support Ukraine. For example, Dr Dmitri Finkelshtein, associate professor of mathematics, is the chair of Sunflowers Wales, a non-profit community group organised by Ukrainian volunteers in Wales to support Ukrainians affected by Russia’s invasion.

Sunflowers Wales is marking Ukraine’s National Day with an event in the Arts Wing, Swansea Grand Theatre, in partnership with the Grand’s Multicultural Hub. Stalls, produce and food tasting will give participants a taste of Ukrainian culture. The event begins at 3.30pm (free entry). A concert later that day is already sold out.


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