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Demonstrations take place across Aberdeen to protest war in Ukraine

The Grampian Ride for Ukraine took place today. Picture by Kenny Elrick.
The Grampian Ride for Ukraine took place today. Picture by Kenny Elrick.

Protestors took to the streets and roads of Aberdeen today to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

Around 70 bikers took part in the Grampian Ride for Ukraine covering more than 100 miles after setting off from Castlegate.

The organisers aimed to gather donations from motorcyclist enthusiasts to help support refugees coming to the north-east.

Just a couple of hours later, people gathered around Castlegate waving Ukrainian flags and holding up signs as part of the Women and Mothers of Ukraine protest.

The protests were taking place across Scotland today, with groups forming in Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as Aberdeen.

Grampian Ride for Ukraine and the Women and Mothers of Ukraine gathered at Castlegate today. Picture by Kenny Elrick/DCT Media.

Despite the bright blue skies, it was a cold day in the Granite City, but this did not stop them from singing and standing in solidarity.

Children were drawing flags and love hearts on the pavement with chalk as their parents chanted things like “save Ukraine” and “stop Russian bombs”.

‘We need support’

Some of the families gathered today were forced to flee to the UK after the war broke out.

One of the organisers of the event, Valeriia Semchuk, arrived in Aberdeen with her two sons last month after leaving war-torn Kyiv to be with her mother and sister.

The 39-year-old decided to help organise the Women and Mothers of Ukraine protest.

She said: “I’m from Ukraine, I’m a mother,  and in Ukraine there is still a war so I didn’t have any choice, it was my duty to.

“We want to show Europe that we need help, that we need support from the whole world.

“Our children have been killed, around 219 children, and this figure is without any from Mariupol – I think it will be terrible figures.

“We are trying to say ‘save Mariupol, save our children please’.”

Women and Mothers of Ukraine protesting the war at Castlegate on Saturday. Picture by Lauren Taylor/DCT Media.

Valeriia Robins, 30, also helped to organise the march to protest the ongoing war.

She said: “We just want to make sure people in Aberdeen don’t forget that there is still a war in Ukraine and children are dying.”

‘Humbled by the generosity’

Those taking part in the Grampian Ride for Ukraine headed south out of Aberdeen, travelling through Portlethen, Stonehaven, Banchory, Westhill, Inverurie and Ellon throughout the day.

The group of 70 motorcyclists went down “really well” in each town with kids waving as they passed by and families coming out to get their pictures taken with the bikes.

Organiser Kev Kilgour before setting off on the ride across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. Picture by Kenny Elrick/DCT Media.

“It went fantastically well,” organiser Kev Kilgour said upon returning to Aberdeen. “It was a really good day.

“I thought it would be fantastic to get a group of motorcyclists together, as it’s known throughout the UK that motorcycle riders are great at raising money for charity.

“I thought let’s do this fundraiser to keep some money in the north-east of Scotland. So, when refugees arrive in Aberdeen and the Grampian region from Ukraine, these donations will be used to support them locally.

“A lot of people will arrive with nothing more than a supermarket carrier bag and that’s all their life in a bag. They’ll be needing immediate supplies so we’re trying to give them a bit of a stopgap.”

The motorcyclists were raising money to support Ukrainian refugees coming to the north-east. Picture by Kenny Elrick/DCT Media.

The money was collected on behalf of the Polish Association of Aberdeen and organisers also worked with Aberdeen charity OWN Woman Kołowrotek who came along today to collect donations.

The group announced a total raised of £3,277.15, and Mr Kilgour said emotions were running high after the count.

He added: “I’m humbled by the support and generosity of the people of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. And, also, all of the motorcyclists who contributed donations to take part today to help refugee families.”

Donations can still be made to the fundraising page here.

Grampian Ride for Ukraine

Bikers from all over took part in the Grampian Ride for Ukraine. Picture by Kenny Elrick/DCT Media.
Bikers from all over took part in the Grampian Ride for Ukraine. Picture by Kenny Elrick/DCT Media.
And they’re off! The bikers took in much of the north-east for the Grampian Ride for Ukraine. Picture by Kenny Elrick/DCT Media
Thumbs up as bikers prepare to take off for Grampian Ride for Ukraine. Picture by Kenny Elrick/DCT Media
Off they go… Grampian Ride for Ukraine. Picture by Kenny Elrick/DCT Media

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