Justice call in Keighley over Ukraine killings

Keighley News: Nick Lajszczuk, of the Keighley Ukrainian community, with Keighley mayor, Councillor Sally Walker Nick Lajszczuk, of the Keighley Ukrainian community, with Keighley mayor, Councillor Sally Walker

A spokesman for Keighley’s Ukrainian community has condemned the killing of dozens of protestors in the capital city of Kiev.

Retired architectural technician, Nick Lajszczuk, who lives in Keighley, said those responsible for shooting dead the demonstrators should be brought to justice.

Protests have been taking place for three months. They originally began when the government of former president Viktor Yanukovych announced it was abandoning an agreement that would strengthen trade ties with the EU, and would instead seek closer co-operation with Russia.

Mr Yanukovych has now been ousted and an interim government is in power in Ukraine.

Mr Lajszczuk said: “During the past few years under Yanukovych’s presidency, a number of government officials and oligarchs have laundered significant amounts of money into the world’s banks, including into the UK.

“The Ukrainian community is asking that the British government, together with other countries, introduce sanctions, freeze assets of these oligarchs and government officials, and conduct a thorough investigation into their activities. These assets need to be returned to Ukraine.

“They have also suggested the president and those who sanctioned the killings of innocent people be brought to justice for crimes against humanity.

“We’re grateful for the support received from friends of the Ukrainian community here in Keighley, and indeed throughout the world, and are proud to share the same values of freedom and democracy.

“We must never allow these principles to be extinguished by dictators, wherever they may be.”

Keighley MP Kris Hopkins said: “The horrific scenes of bloodshed and violence in Ukraine have caused great distress across the world, not least in Keighley, which for many years has been home to a proud and vibrant Ukrainian community.

“Since the beginning of the current crisis, Foreign Secretary William Hague has stressed the need for an inclusive government in Ukraine.

“He has also made clear that, whilst it is rightly a matter for the people of Ukraine to decide their political future, the international community expects Ukraine’s new leaders to uphold the rule of law and human rights.”

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