Recently Senedd Members Mick Antoniw and Alun Davies were in the Ukrainian Capital Kyiv delivering their latest consignment of aid, in a mission which enjoys strong cross party support in Cardiff Bay.

Welsh Minister for the Constitution and Counsel General, Mick Antoniw, of Ukrainian descent himself, has been a regular visitor to the country since the Russian annexation of Crimea back in 2014 and has teamed up with Blaenau Gwent MS, Alun Davies, to share the driving across Europe, from Antwerp, via Dresden, Krakow and finally to Kyiv.

Mick Antoniw
Mick Antoniw MS and Alun Davies MS in central Kyiv on the first anniversary of the Russian Invasion (Mick Antoniw)

On a recent weekend, Alun Davies made the much shorter trip into the Black Mountains to meet a group of fundraisers in Talgarth, who have rallied to the cause over recent months.

They included Cllr Louise Elston-Reeves, the town Mayor, who has helped to spearhead collections with her daughter Shannon, arranging the sale of lapel ribbons in the Castle Fish Bar in Talgarth, with the help of the staff team; Suzy Allen, of Queens Avenue, who has been making hand crafted wristbands in Ukrainian colours for sale since last summer and also Talgarth County Councillor William Powell, his former Senedd colleague, who organised and helped run a pub quiz for Ukrainian relief.

Commenting after receiving the community donation, which totalled £555.00, Alun Davies MS (Welsh Labour, Blaenau Gwent) said: “I was delighted to meet Cllr Louise Elston-Reeves and other supporters in Talgarth. This donation will go straight towards supporting Ukrainians defending their communities in the Donbas. Last week we were in Kyiv and we heard first-hand how much this support is valued and appreciated in Ukraine.”

County Councillor William Powell (Welsh Liberal Democrat, Talgarth) added: ‘’It was very poignant for us to hear Alun’s account of the destruction that Mick and he had seen at first hand on the outskirts of Kyiv, also describing the stoicism of the Ukrainian people, many of whom have had to continue their lives underground. Alun also spoke of plans to deliver a replacement people carrier, that had previously been provided by well-wishers in Wales, only to be destroyed by a Russian missile. We pledged to continue our support for their vital efforts.’’