Core Cities UK leaders and mayors have joined the Global Parliament of Mayors in supporting an open letter from city leaders across Ukraine. This is our response.
We the leaders and mayors of the UK's Core Cities stand united with city mayors across Ukraine as their nation comes under vicious and sustained attack from Vladimir Putin's Russian Federation.
We salute the bravery of Ukraine's citizens who have protested against the invasion and taken up arms to defend their city neighbourhoods.
Along with many other cities across Europe, we are preparing ourselves for a major influx of refugees from cities like Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, Mykolaiv and Kherson that have been mercilessly shelled by Russian artillery.
We know our communities will make sure these refugees, many of them women and children, feel welcome and accepted. Our cities have a proud history of assimilating people from widely different backgrounds, this diversity is one of the things that makes our cities so strong.
We will welcome refugees regardless of race, religion or ethnic background. To us a refugee is a person of need, we will not prioritise on the basis of someone's skin colour, where they worship or who they love.
The numbers of displaced people coming to our cities will present some challenges in the short term, but we will make sure accommodation is suitable and that people have access to the vital services that our city governments and our community organisations provide.
One day this horrific and unnecessary war will end and these refugees will return home to re-build their communities. We hope they go back having witnessed the kindness and diversity of the UK's Core Cites.
Right now though, we stand together with Ukraine in the fight to defend democracy and freedom. Today we are all Ukranians. Slava Ukraini!