Leeds proposes partnership with Ukrainian city of Khavkiv

Leeds councillors have been discussing the potential partnership.

Plans for the city to forge a potential new international partnership between Leeds and the city of Kharkiv is being discussed by Leeds City Council.

The two cities, which sit more than 2,0000 apart, could be potentially twinned after a meeting with local councillors in Leeds yesterday.

The new relationship between the two locations would be the latest expression of solidarity from Leeds after the country was invaded by Russia earlier this year in February.

The city of Kharkiv currently shares twin city status with both the French city of Lille and Czech Republic’s Brno, two of Leeds’s own twin cities.

Since the outbreak of the war, Kharkiv has faced continuous shelling, with around a third of the city’s 1.4 million residents evacuated from their homes.

Image: Leeds City Council

Councillor James Lewis, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “The people of Leeds have opened their hearts and homes to the citizens of Ukraine, who have faced unimaginable suffering and upheaval amid the devastating impact of a needless war.

“This new partnership between Kharkiv and Leeds would cement forever the relationship between our two cities, which has remarkably blossomed even in the face of so much suffering.

“It would also stand as a lasting symbol of peace, unity and co-operation for generations to come.”

So far, Leeds has demonstrated compassion by sending goods to those in need, including vans full of donations.

Back in March, The Ukraine Aid Appeal, sponsored by the Leeds Charity Lunch, took two vans over to the country in a week-long trip that saw the likes of Leeds Rhinos legend Rob Burrow at the send-off.

Read More: Vans full of donations for Ukraine leave Leeds Irish Centre with send off from Leeds United legend Rob Burrow

Image: Leeds Irish Centre

In addition to this, the official Leeds Together for Ukraine appeal, which also launched earlier this year, has managed to raise more than £140,000 raised to help refugees forced from their homes, and donations still coming in from locals.

Mayor of Kharkiv, Ihor Terekov said: “We are proud to be reaching out across borders and boundaries to foster a new and special relationship with Leeds at this traumatic time for Ukraine.

“Both our cities have a unique heritage and history, which will last far beyond this conflict, and we look forward to sharing, growing and learning together for many decades to come.”

The people of Leeds showing their support for Ukraine. / Image: Leeds Ukrainian Community Centre

Regardless of the outcome of the meeting, Leeds City Council is still encouraging the city to get involved in the Leeds Together For Ukraine appeal, which was launched by Leeds City Council and administered by Leeds Community Foundation.

Read More: Website crashes as over 100,000 people sign-up to open their homes to Ukraine refugees in UK

For more details on how you can contribute to the cause, visit the Leeds Together for Ukraine JustGiving website.

Feature Image- Leeds City Council

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