Councillors back plan to twin Leeds with Kharkiv

Councillors back plan to twin Leeds with Kharkiv


20 Jul 2022 at 23:17
Councillors back plan to twin Leeds with Kharkiv

Plans have been announced to twin Leeds with the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.

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Leeds City Council said it hoped to create a "lasting international bond" between the two cities and show "solidarity and compassion" following the Russian invasion.

A motion putting forward the plan was passed by councillors on Wednesday.

Speaking ahead of the meeting Ihor Terekov, the Mayor of Kharkiv, said he was keen to forge new relationships at this "traumatic time for Ukraine".

Leeds and Kharkiv, which are both twinned with Lille and Brno, are more than 2,000 miles (3,219 km) apart.

The twinning plan forms part of Leeds Together for Ukraine, the council said, with over £140,000 raised for refugees since the start of the conflict.

Council leader James Lewis said people in Leeds had "opened their hearts and homes" to people who have faced "unimaginable suffering and upheaval amid the devastating impact of a needless war".

He said the new partnership between Kharkiv and Leeds would cement the relationship between the two cities, which has "blossomed even in the face of so much suffering".

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

Mr Lewis said large parts of the city have been destroyed but some people have begun returning home - facing fuel and water shortages, plus a threat of ongoing bombardment.