VIGILS were held in Llandudno and Denbighshire this weekend as residents showed their solidarity with people of Ukraine following the Russian invasion.

A vigil at the Llandudno Cenotaph took place at 12pm on Friday, March 4, and was an opportunity for people to show their support for the Ukrainian people, following Russia’s invasion of the country which began on February 24.

Since then, there have been attacks in numerous cities, injuring or killing many civilians, while more than half a million are estimated to have fled their homes.

A sizeable crowd, many wore the yellow and blue colours of Ukraine's national flag, placed yellow and blue flowers at the base of the Cenotaph.

It was a time of meditation, led by Baron Roberts of Llandudno, the former leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

On Saturday, March 5, a gathering was also held at Rhyl Event Arena in support of Ukraine, which included speakers with their own experiences of war and conflict.

Arranged by Councillor Brian Blakeley (Rhyl South East ward) and Sherry Edwards, it was attended by the mayor of Rhyl, Cllr Diane King, as well as Rhyl musician Mike Peters and his wife, Jules.

Rhyl Journal: The gathering in support of Ukraine at Rhyl Events Arena. Photo: Linda HurstThe gathering in support of Ukraine at Rhyl Events Arena. Photo: Linda Hurst

Cllr Blakeley said: "I was humbled by the support for the event, and the many messages I received from people who, although unable to attend, wanted to add their support.

"Images of the atrocities perpetrated by (Vladimir) Putin are shocking the world, and uniting us in a way that would once have seemed impossible.

"We were pleased to respond to requests from Prestatyn's mayor for posters and flags."

Cllr Paul Penlington (Prestatyn North ward) was in attendance, and said: “It’s been heartening to see Denbighshire light landmarks in the colours of the Ukrainian flag this weekend and the numerous vigils in major towns across the county.

"I attended one in Rhyl with my family and heard some emotional speeches from people with direct experience of conflict.

"Most of us want to do more to help, though; physical donations are now being turned away at Dover due to UK export rules, so I would suggest cash donations would be more effective and can be immediately used by the various organisations working in Ukraine.

Rhyl Journal: People show their support for Ukraine at Rhyl Events Arena. Photo: Brian BlakeleyPeople show their support for Ukraine at Rhyl Events Arena. Photo: Brian Blakeley

"As a family, we have donated to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal but there are several other charities people can easily find through online searches if they wish.

"We can only hope this conflict, and all others, are resolved soon and the people suffering can return to normal life.

"Sadly, at the moment, it looks like many more lives will be lost before it’s over.”

Meanwhile, Prestatyn and Meliden mayor, Cllr Sharon Frobisher and her Consort, Harriet Frobisher, organised and attended a public gathering at the town's Ty Nant Square at 5pm on Sunday, March 6, to show support for the people of Ukraine.

Rhyl Journal: The vigil at Prestatyn's Ty Nant Square. Photo: Gerry FrobisherThe vigil at Prestatyn's Ty Nant Square. Photo: Gerry Frobisher

The Mayor’s chaplain, Reverend John Harvey (the Vicar of Meliden), said prayers and gave words of support. 

This small gathering of about 80 people also saw £180 donated towards the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal and Disaster Emergency Committee.