A SOBERING assessment of the war in Ukraine was heard by an audience of 80 people last week at the Salisbury Medieval Hall which led to a rallying cry for more support and the announcement of a new initiative. 

The assessment of the war was made by General Sir Richard Shirreff and a perspective on the position in Russia was given by former diplomat Raymond Asquith, Lord Oxford.

Ukrainian charity worker Max Maslennikov described the work of volunteers trying to support more than 7 million displaced people at the talk which took place on Friday, November 24.

Salisbury Journal: The talk about UkraineThe talk about Ukraine (Image: Stephen Dowse)

Max Maslennikov who ran an IT business in Dnipro prior to the war left the audience in awe by the scale of the challenge he and others like him face on a daily basis in Ukraine. Within days of the Russian invasion, he was helping the first refugees fleeing the fighting, distributing food and arranging emergency accommodation.

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Jane Ebel, who organised the event in the Medieval Hall said: "The aim of the evening was three-fold. We were seeking to put Ukraine back on the map in the press and in terms of funding. We wanted to connect the different individuals and organisations in the Salisbury area who have been supporting Ukraine since the outbreak of war. 

"We also wanted to launch our 'Adopt a Community Initiative' to personalise people's support of Ukraine at a time when we are becoming numbed by the sheer scale of need."

The charity Reconstruction Ukraine was co-founded by Max helping more than 200,000 displaced people and now provides long-term support for those in central Ukraine. With more than 25,000 volunteers working throughout Ukraine and getting very weary, Max’s next initiative will be to provide respite support for them and their families, in the Carpathian mountains.

Nick Bacon chaired the discussion and called out for donations and offers of practical support, capacity building and online language training for the teams in Ukraine. Financial support, material donations or in-date winter medication can all be given. 

Jane added: "Donations and ticket sales raised £2,000,  and a transit van has already been donated to Reconstruction Ukraine and a group of English language specialists have offered to train the team in Dnipro online." 

Anyone wishing to support the ‘Adopt a Community Initiative’ should contact Jane Ebel on musecic@gmail.com