SUSAN Aitken has vowed to offer Glasgow homes to Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russian invasion.

The Glasgow City Council leader made the comments has hundreds gathered in George Square to show solidarity with those facing conflict.

The demonstration in the city was one of a number taking place across the length and breadth of UK on the 10th day of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

In Shetland, a vigil was held at Lerwick’s Market Cross, while in London’s Trafalgar Square, a giant banner outside the National Gallery read: “When the last Ukrainian soldier falls, Putin will come for you ladies and gents.”

The Herald:

In Glasgow, protesters had placards with messages such as “Help Ukraine” and “Stop War in Europe”.

Council leader Aitken spoke at the demo, saying the city stood “side by side” with Ukraine and criticising the UK Government’s attitude to Ukrainian refugees as a “moral disgrace”, saying that the doors to refugees fleeing the war must be opened.

She added: “For as long as Ukrainians want a home in Glasgow, we stand ready to offer it to them.

"Glasgow has for a long time stood with our doors open to refugees and we do that again. For anyone who comes from Ukraine, we will find a home for you here in Glasgow."

Among those leading the event was Liza Rekhtman, 30, a PhD student at the University of Glasgow, whose family is still in Ukraine.

She said she was experiencing shock, grief and anger in watching the horror unfold in the country.

She said: “It’s just unbearable to watch. After the anger you get yourself together and think, what can I do? Fundraise, help your loved ones, educate and raise awareness.

“That’s basically all we can do from here – and just focus on that.

“But then more tragic news comes, and the cycle is constant.”

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Rekhtman said her family is currently relatively safe and they do not want to leave Ukraine.

She added: “On a personal level it is impossible to live your life – when someone says let’s go and chat, have a coffee, you think, what coffee? I need to help.

“You just think of what’s happening and everything else seems pointless.

“One of the huge lessons is that the world cannot be the same any more.”

One of the Ukrainians who addressed the crowd was Kostya, who issued a plea for support and for countries to unite against Putin.

He said: “They have prepared for this war for more than 10 years. They want us to die, and we want to survive.

“Please support Ukraine, please tell everyone we need support from you.

“All countries should be together to say, ‘no, you should stop’.”

Meanwhile Scotland’s External Affairs Secretary Angus Robertson pledged “unqualified support” from the country for Ukraine.

He said: “Scotland stands together with all those in the international community who oppose the illegal war in Ukraine, whether they are in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, in Scotland or elsewhere in the world.”