Funeral held by Manchester's Ukrainian population to honour soldiers who may die in conflict

A symbolic funeral has been held by members of Manchester's Ukrainian population to honour soldiers who may lose their lives as Russia continues to attack their homeland.

Dozens gathered in the Ukrainian Roman Catholic church in Manchester's Cheetham Hill, where they lit candles and said prayers for the people of Ukraine.

One member said: "It's not what you see in the media, it's much bigger, a lot of people died.

"My friend spent all night in the Metro station because it was fighting everywhere, bombing everywhere.

"In the morning they just drove from bomb shelter to another bomb shelter and again and again because they are not even safe in a shelter."

A service held in Cheetham Hill

A senior member of the Ukrainian Church in Manchester says he feels despair for the people in his home country.

Fr Ewhen Nebesniak said: "I have to say what really made me happy was the protests in about fifty cities in Russia were protesting against the war.

"Putin just wants to fulfil his ambitions of renewing the Russian empire."

The prayers were part of today's proceedings at this mornings liturgy.

Among the congregation, Maria Ulczak from Oldham said: "All my extended family are still over there. It's your worst nightmare.

"You just feel so sorry for the brave people. It's beyond comprehension. You feel frustrated because you can't do anything."

The International Aid Trust sends aid packages to Ukraine

A charity in Lancashire, with staff and volunteers in Ukraine, says it is doing all it can to help people there.

The International Aid Trust has been assisting with humanitarian aid by sending parcels there for the past thirty years.

Julie Rowlandson said: "These are people we have been working with for a long time. They are good friends, they're brothers and sisters to us.

"We are deeply concerned for our staff and volunteers and all the beneficiaries they support."

Zinchenko joined the protests in St Peter's Square Credit: MEN Media

In Manchester St Peter's Square, demonstrators gathered opposed to the Russian action.

Among them was Manchester City's Oleksandr Zinchenko.

The gathered crowd sang the Ukrainian national anthem and speeches were delivered to the crowd in both Ukrainian and Russian languages.

Zinchenko is not the only Premier League footballer to use their platform. Everton player Vitalii Mykolenko also took to Instagram to ask "the whole world to help my homeland."