MSs use summer recess to deliver aid to Ukraine
Two Senedd Members will set off this week on a 2150-mile journey to deliver vital supplies destined for frontline defenders in war-torn Ukraine.
Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution, Mick Antoniw MS, and Alun Davies MS for Blaenau Gwent, are using the beginning of the Senedd recess period to deliver much-needed vehicles and equipment to the Ukrainian Miners Union in Pavlograd, Eastern Ukraine.
Their journey will begin on Saturday (15 July) when the pair begin making their way to the Donbas region of Ukraine where they will hand over aid to be sent on to the battalions fighting against Russian forces.
The two MSs will be accompanied by Wayne Thomas the Area Secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers (South Wales) and Carwyn Donovan, former miner and now Bectu trade union official.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022 and fighting has continued with no end in sight causing thousands of deaths on both sides of the conflict.
The two MSs are travelling with the support of all political parties in the Senedd under the ‘Senedd Cymru Together for Ukraine’ banner, with support from local businesses and trade unions who have helped fund the trip.
They will be taking military kit, medical equipment, drones, night vision equipment, satellite communication equipment, and other supplies.
The five day journey to Pavlograd will take them across the European Union, through Poland, Lviv, Kyiv, Poltava and on to the coalmining town of Pavlograd in Donbas, where they will meet with the local miners and battalions they have been supporting.
This will be the seventh trip, delivering the 9th and 10th 4×4 vehicles along with essential aid with the value of supplies delivered reaching an estimated half a million pounds.
Mick Antoniw MS said: “This is a trip to Ukraine that is important to me personally. We have delivered support to the Ukrainian miners union and their local battalions, but this time we are going to them direct, into the Donbas coal mining community.
“We have known them for many years and they have visited Wales in the past so we are restoring our longstanding relations and solidarity.
“They are at the forefront of the battle for Ukrainian freedom. They are mainly Russian speaking but fiercely protective of their Ukrainian identity.
“We want to show real solidarity with them especially after they have been so badly hit by Russian missile attacks.
The MS for Pontypridd has also started a Crowd Funder to help raise money for life-saving equipment, basic practical items such as t-shirts and hygiene products, as well as transport to move people around.
He added: “Going there with Wayne Thomas and Carwyn Donovan both miners and NUM representatives means a lot the them. It is an example of real trade union solidarity.
“Of course the vehicles and supplies are vitally important, but sometimes there is nothing more important than showing that we stand with them, that they are not alone and that we in Wales are fully behind their fight for their freedom and ours in the stand they have taken against Russian fascism.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.