Nick Lajszczuk has spoken of his pride at receiving the Ukrainian President’s Service Medal at a ceremony held in the Ukrainian Community Centre, in Keighley.

Mr Lajszczuk is one of only three people in the country to receive the honour, equivalent to the British OBE.

He told the Keighley News he was proud and delighted to be given the medal and he dedicated it to the people who helped him get recognition of a state-imposed Ukrainian famine in 1932/3 as genocide.

Keighley Town Council was the first council in the country to recognise the Holodomor — ordered by Stalin — as genocide and Mr Lajszczuk arranged for the “Torch of Remembrance” to visit the town on its journey around the world last year.

Community figures and town councillors attended the ceremony and listened to a speech by Mr Lajszczuk in which he said he was honoured and moved to receive the award. He said: “I don’t feel worthy to receive the award because anything which I did I did as a result of the love I have for the Ukraine, something which my late parents instilled in me from an early age.

“Indeed, it is the duty of every son and daughter of the Ukraine to do everything possible to defend the Ukraine, its name and culture.”

He thanked people in the town for their support.