Mykolaiv citizens 'feel they're not alone' after Ukrainian city is twinned with St Helier

WATCH: the full ITV News interview with Oleksandr Senkevich, Mayor of Mykolaiv.

Citizens of Mykolaiv say the twinning of the Ukrainian city with Jersey's capital shows them they're not alone.

Residents of St Helier voted to approve the twinning, after Ukrainians living in Jersey expressed an interest in forming a link between the two.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year, 156 people have been killed in Mykolaiv and 700 have been heavily injured.

Around 900 blocks of flats and more than 1,000 houses in the city have been destroyed by bombing, alongside 80 schools and 16 hospitals which have been badly damaged.

A map of Ukraine shows the location of Mykolaiv compared to other Ukrainian cities that have been badly impacted by war. Credit: ITV Channel TV

The most recent Russian attack on Mykolaiv was on 31 December last year, as people were enjoying New Year's Eve celebrations.

The population of Mykolaiv has dropped from 500,000 to around 350,000 as many residents were forced to leave the city to escape bombardment.

Oleksandr Senkevich, the mayor of Mykolaiv, says the twinning of the city with St Helier has shown him that "the world supports us, and the world recognises who is the enemy and who is the victim in this war".

He said: "It’s very important to us that cities across the world want to help us. We see this as understanding and support from the people of St Helier."

Mr Senkevich wants to visit St Helier in the future, and hopes people from Jersey can visit Mykolaiv when it's safe to do so.

Like the Channel Islands, Mykoliav was also occupied by Germans forces during the Second World War.

Mr Senkevich added: "The renovation process after all of those bombardments in World War Two can be used as experience to renovate the city of Mykoliav in the future, and Jersey’s experience will be very useful."

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