Shemaine Bushnell Kyriakides
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine 7 days ago, monuments around the world were lit up in the colors of the Ukrainian flag to show support and solidarity with the Ukrainian people. The unprovoked attack on Ukraine was justified by Russian President Putin as a means to carry out the "de-Nazification" and "demilitarization" of the country.
Hundreds of thousands of people around the world, Cyprus included, demonstrated on the streets of their capitals, calling for an end to Putin's dictatorship and for sanctions to be imposed, not just on Russia, but specifically on its leadership and oligarchs.
“As a small state, which relies for its security on the global rules-based order with the UN at its core - Cyprus is deeply concerned about the effectiveness of our system of collective security".
Consequently, Russian Central Bank assets in the EU were frozen, a flight ban of Russian aircraft was imposed by the EU, Canada and most recently, the USA, while large conglomerates around the world severed business ties with the 'rogue' country.
The Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN, Ambassador Andreas Hadjichrysanthou, while speaking at the 11th Emergency Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, told members that Cyprus stands in solidarity with Ukraine and reiterates its support to the country’s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. He added, “As a small state, which relies for its security on the global rules-based order with the UN at its core - Cyprus is deeply concerned about the effectiveness of our system of collective security".
In the capital of Nicosia 3 days ago, Eleftheria Square was lit up in the colors of the Ukrainian flag, following the example of Greece, France and other European capitals around the world. The move was more poignant after news agencies reported yesterday that a Russian rocket had hit a government building in Freedom square in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city.
Constantinos Yiorkadjis, Mayor of Nicosia, stated that not only his Municipality, but the whole of Cyprus, "feels for the citizens of Ukraine who are being tested by this war. War, refugees and loss are concepts that are deeply rooted in the minds of the Cypriot people and we could not have remained indifferent to this tragedy".
In recent days, Cypriots have been working to collect money, food supplies, blankets and any kind of essentials to send to Ukraine. Collection points have been set up in all provinces of the island and you can find them by clicking on this link https://www.facebook.com/SpokesmanOffice/posts/305593945002224.
Meanwhile, the President of the Republic, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, ordered a local bank account to be set up so that anyone interested to donate money can do so at any bank. The account is "Solidarity Account for the Ukrainian people", in short "SOLIDARITY A / C -UKRAINIANPEOPLE" at the Central Bank of Cyprus. The account number is 6001031, the IBAN is CY31 0010 0001 0000 0000 0600 1031, while the Swift (BIC) Code is CBCYCY2N.
Cyprus has some 4,000 Ukrainians living on the island and most of them are in touch with family in Ukraine.