Ukrainians recite ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ in powerful film to mark one year of war

Ukrainians have recited the lyrics of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ in a powerful film, shot in the war-torn nation by a local film crew, to mark one year since Russia invaded and to highlight the UK's contribution to the resistance.

The 60-second film, released by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), invites viewers to find out more about how the British public's "hugely generous" £400 million in donations has been supporting people in Ukraine.

It will air on ITV in an advert break during a documentary on Ukraine on Thursday, and will then be shown on TV and online. 

It depicts a young boy in bomb shelter, a doctor at an emergency ward, a couple outisde their destroyed home and a mother with her daughter travelling on a bus.

The theme running throughout the film is that there will be a "golden sky" at the end of the storm if Ukrainians "hold [their] head up high".

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The advert features words from Gerry and the Pacemakers' song ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ over the top of composer, pianist and producer Max Richter’s track ‘Infra 5’.

Shot in Ukraine, starring Ukrainian actors; the film's release will coincide with the war's one year anniversary on February 24.

The occasion will be marked in the UK with a one minute silence at 11am, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak saying it would be a chance for Britons to celebrate the “bravery and resilience” of Ukraine.

Tens of thousands of Ukrainians have lost their lives during Vladimir Putin's invasion and millions have been displaced since Russia launched a full-scale attack on its neighbour.

The latest figures show 154,500 Ukrainians resettled in the UK through its two new visa routes, with 44,200 arriving through the family scheme and 110,300 via Homes for Ukraine.

Simon Beresford, DEC director of fundraising and marketing, lauded the UK public for being "incredibly generous".

The DEC has raised £414 million through its Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal since it was launched on March 3 last year, the organisation said.

What have UK donations to Ukraine been used for?

Here are just some of the ways the DEC says it has used British cash to provide aid:

  • 1.9 million people provided with access to clean water   

  • 392,000 people who received food assistance, including hot meals and food parcels   

  • 338,000 people who received cash payments to meet their basic needs

  • 127,000 people who accessed basic services at transit centres for the displaced

  • 71,000 people who accessed primary healthcare services

  • 114,000 people who received legal help and support   

  • 10,000 people who were provided with temporary accommodation  

Mr Beresford added: "We are committed to showing people how their donations are helping, and we wanted to make a film that had an emotional impact while inviting viewers to find out more.

"On our website they can read about some of the millions of real people who have benefitted from the work of our member charities, funded of course by UK donations.  

“We’re really proud of the fact that we could work with a Ukrainian cast and crew to make this film.

"Choosing to shoot it in Ukraine added layers of complication to the project, but we think has made it much more authentic and impactful.

"Everyone who worked on the film in Ukraine has been affected in some way by the conflict and their creative input has been invaluable to the project.”