Edinburgh is set to "commemorate the human sacrifice in the defence of Ukraine" with a series of events in the capital. 

It comes ahead of the "sombre" anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine which has claimed tens of thousands of lives. 

On February 24 of last year, Vladimir Putin’s troops tried to storm the country but met stiff resistance from Ukrainian fighters defending their homeland.

On Monday, Lord Provost Robert Aldridge announced the Ukraine Forever programme - a series of events to mark the war’s beginning which include a planned parliamentary debate and march next week.

Honouring the lives lost in the conflict, a wreath-laying ceremony will take place at Edinburgh Council and the City War Memorial on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.

Other Scottish cities are also expected to hold wreath-laying events and church services.

Mr Aldridge said: “On this most sombre of anniversaries, we are reminded of the terrible consequences of Russia’s illegal invasion during the past year.”

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Edinburgh’s first event, a commemorative gala concert in support of Ukraine, will be held at St Cuthbert’s Parish Church, Lothian Road, on February 18.

The range of events will also include a fundraiser for a paramedic charity at the Scottish Storytelling Centre on February 23, and a night of music with Scottish and Ukrainian artists at the Usher Hall on February 28.

Hannah Beaton-Hawryluk, Edinburgh’s branch chairwoman of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, said she hoped the programme of events would “provide an opportunity for both residents of Edinburgh and Ukrainians living in the city to come together to commemorate the human sacrifice in the defence of Ukraine”.

“The first anniversary is a really important, but sombre, milestone to ensure that the profile of Ukraine’s fight is kept at the forefront of society’s discourse in the coming year ahead,” she said.

“We need all of your help to continue supporting Ukraine.”

On February 23, there will be a special debate at the Scottish Parliament, with politicians from across the spectrum set to take part.

And, two days later, there will be a march in support of Ukraine, which will head from Edinburgh Castle to the Scottish Parliament.

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MSP Neil Gray, the minister with special responsibility for refuges from Ukraine, said as the anniversary approached it was “important for us to take a moment to pause and reflect, and to remember all those who have lost their lives in the conflict”.

“Edinburgh’s Ukraine Forever programme will help us all to show our continued support and solidarity with Ukrainians all over the world,” he said.

“To all the Ukrainians in Scotland, my message remains clear, we stand with you and want you to know that Scotland is your home for as long as you need it to be.”

Thousands of Ukrainian refuges have made Scotland home since the invasion, with more than 22,000 people from the war-torn country arriving north of the border through private sponsors or super-sponsor scheme.