Source: Hampstead & Highgate Express

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Ben Lynch

Published: 4:34 PM February 25, 2022

In a show of solidarity with Ukraine and its people, a Camden resident has been handing out leaflets featuring the words “Ukraine is in our hearts”. 

On February 24, Russia began an invasion of Ukraine in a move condemned by western nations. In retaliation, the US, the UK and the EU are among those to have imposed sanctions on Russian individuals and organisations, with more expected to be announced. 

Journalist Martin Plaut, who lives in Kentish Town, said that he was so upset by the events that he felt compelled to do something. 

After attending demonstrations outside the Russian Embassy and Downing Street, he decided that not enough was being done. And so he designed a leaflet with the Ukrainian flag, the EU stars and the message of support.

He said: “I didn’t know what else to do, but I think we just can’t take it lying down.” 

First situating himself at Hampstead Heath, where he was aided by his friend Andrew Whitehead, he then went to South End Green, with plans to hand more out at Kentish Town tube station.

 He said: “I was just so upset by what’s going on and I just thought it was so appalling that a country could be extinguished from the world, which it looks as if the Russians want to do. 

“I mean, if you look at the UN Charter it says that after two world wars we founded the United Nations to stop this, so this would not happen again, and to protect the rights of states large and small. So, I just felt like I had to do something.” 

He said that a couple of Ukrainians came up to him in tears upon seeing him with the leaflets, and there was plenty of interest from others walking by. 

“As soon as people saw what they were about and got the idea, more than half were happy to take them and said that they would put them up.” 

His intention, he said, is to “show that we care about Ukraine”. 

“I’m doing this just out of solidarity,” he said. “Nothing else.” 

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