<p>Prince Charles accepts a poster from schoolchildren at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral during his visit on Wednesday</p>

Prince Charles accepts a poster from schoolchildren at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral during his visit on Wednesday

Schoolgirl hands Prince Charles ‘Stop Putin’ poster during emotional visit to Ukrainian church

The Duke and Duchess paid a visit to London’s Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral

Joanna Whitehead
Monday 07 March 2022 11:37
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The Prince of Wales accepted a poster reading “Stop Putin” from a schoolgirl during an emotional visit to the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in London on Wednesday.

Prince Charles spoke of the “truly terrible aggression” of President Vladimir Putin as he showed solidarity with the Ukrainian community in the UK.

Charles and Camilla lit candles and left floral tributes at the church, where leading members of the UK’s Ukrainian community sang a mournful version of the song “Chervona Kalyna” (Red Guelder Rose) – famously sung by Ukrainian insurgents during the Second World War – leaving Camilla close to tears.

The heir to the throne paid tribute to the “extraordinary bravery, generosity and fortitude of the Ukrainian community” in the face of military action by Russian forces.

Staff at the cathedral reported that Ukrainian men had been seeking blessings before travelling back to their homeland to join the fight against Mr Putin’s army.

The prince told those invited: “I must say my wife and I have been deeply moved by everything we’ve heard today during our visit and above all by the extraordinary bravery, generosity and fortitude of the Ukrainian community in the face of such truly terrible aggression.

“So if I may say so, our thoughts and prayers, however inadequate they may be, are with all of you at this most critical time.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall were also joined by the Ukrainian ambassador Vadym Prystaiko, and his wife Inna Prystaiko, who earlier received a rare tribute from MPs, a standing ovation in the House of Commons when he watched Prime Minister’s Questions from the gallery.

Camilla hugged a tearful Mrs Prystaiko telling her: “We are praying for you.”

His visit was the second day Prince Charles has spoken out about the crisis in Ukraine.

During a visit that granted city status to Southend-on-Sea on Tuesday, he told guests the values of democracy were under attack in Ukraine in the “most unconscionable way”.

The news comes as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees confirms that approximately one million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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