Ukrainian refugees protested and lit candles as they marked "two years of constant pain" since the beginning of the Russian invasion of their country.

On Saturday residents gathered to mark the anniversary of the beginning of fighting in Ukraine after Vladimir Putin’s large-scale attacks in Eastern Europe.

Protesters gathered outside Brighton Palace Pier before marching towards Hove’s Peace Statue for a candlelit vigil.

Kira Makohon, who helped to organise the vigil, said: “I was here on the very first day of the invasion and I remember there was only about 15 people. Now we have so many people supporting us.

The Argus: Kira MakohonKira Makohon (Image: The Argus)

“It’s very important for us as Ukrainians but those in Ukraine too. They feel that we fight for them and are doing what we can for them.

“We are very low at the moment, no one ever expected the war to last this long.

“It’s two years of constant pain that grows and grows.”

The Argus: A protester wearing a Ukrainian flagA protester wearing a Ukrainian flag (Image: The Argus)

Protesters gathered outside Brighton Palace Pier and listened to speeches before marching along the seafront to the Hove Peace Statue.


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A candle-lit vigil was then held at the statue to mark the second anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The vigil is part of a series of events both in Brighton and nationally to mark the occasion and call for renewed support for the Ukrainian cause.

The Argus: Protesters marching past the ruins of Brighton's West PierProtesters marching past the ruins of Brighton's West Pier (Image: The Argus)

A church service was also planned for All Saints Church in Hove to mark the occasion.

Iryna Olyanovska, of Stand for Ukraine Brighton and Hove, added: It’s very important to mark this because two years ago our life was turned upside down and it’s still upside down.

“We are really, really fighting but everyone is tired. The people in the trenches are way more tired so we try to support them as much as we can.

“These protests help to give them hope that someone is rooting for them.

“Sometimes it feels like we are fighting alone but I know the world is behind us and supporting us.”