A tree war memorial has been placed in Sheffield’s winter gardens to remember the hundreds of Ukrainian children killed in the war.
The memorial marks the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and is dedicated to the 450 children who have been officially marked as dead, although the actual figure is believed to be even higher.
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Anna Musiienko, the creator of the memorial, said on a post on Instagram: “Today my angels symbolise the children who died from brutal torture, rape, murder. These angels in England will remind you of what price Ukrainians get freedom, land and life.”
The Memorial Memory Platform, who made the ‘Angels of Ukraine’ tree possible have spent the last 12 months tracing war casualties and ensuring that they will never be forgotten by telling their stories, making documentaries, and preparing media publications.
Ms Musiienko, who runs ornamental decor business Anushka, said she chose the theme of angels as she believes that she is an angel herself who “was given a second life” after moving to Sheffield from Ukraine.
Emma Mcgoldrick, a visitor of the memorial today, said: “The tree is beautiful. It helps us remember how many lives have been lost and what thousands of people who have lost family members are going through.”
It is not only the children that have died who have been affected by the war against Ukraine. Over 500 educational institutions have been destroyed, along with more than 1,000 cultural institutions and 4,000 residential buildings, affecting both children and adults across the country.
Several Ukrainian cities have been wiped out with reconstruction seeming impossible, with more than 10 cities being 80% destroyed, with the overall damage done to Ukrainian infrastructure amounting to 138 billion USD.
Ukrainian authorities have announced that 13,000 men have died fighting for Ukraine but the full military toll will only be understood after the war.