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Duchess of Edinburgh: Sophie turns into first member of Royal Household to go to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion | UK Information

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The Duchess of Edinburgh has turn into the primary member of the Royal Household to go to Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion started in February 2022.

Sophie’s journey was to “display solidarity with the ladies, males and youngsters impacted by the conflict”, mentioned Buckingham Palace.

The palace additionally mentioned it was a continuation of her work to champion survivors of conflict-related sexual violence.

The duchess, 59, met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the primary woman Olena Zelenska.

Sophie visited a memorial in Bucha

Sophie met children from displaced families
Sophie met kids from displaced households

Sophie, who’s a full-time working member of the Royal Family, additionally delivered a non-public message to them in a letter from the King.

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The senior royal met folks displaced by the conflict and visited the positioning of a mass grave in Bucha the place victims of the Russian occupation have been buried.

The duchess laid flowers at a memorial that comprises the names of the victims.

Early on within the battle after Russian forces left the city, a variety of {dead} our bodies have been discovered with their fingers tied behind their backs – seemingly shot at shut vary – in what could possibly be a conflict crime.

The Duchess of Edinburgh and the Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska visited a cathedral
The Duchess of Edinburgh and the Ukrainian first woman Olena Zelenska visited a cathedral

The duchess met an Orthodox priest in Bucha
The duchess met an Orthodox priest in Bucha

The royal additionally visited a cathedral with the primary woman within the capital Kiev.

The Ukraine journey was on the request of the Overseas, Commonwealth and Improvement Workplace (FCDO).

Within the two years for the reason that conflict started on 24 February 2022, a minimum of 10,582 civilians have been killed and 19,875 injured in conflict-related violence within the nation, in response to the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU).

These killed embody 5,017 males, 3,093 girls, 311 boys and 248 women. These injured embody 6,524 males, 4,546 girls, 585 boys and 422 women.

The Duchess of Edinburgh gives a speech in Ukraine

The senior royal introduced her dedication to champion the UK’s Stopping Sexual Violence in Battle Initiative (PSVI) and the United Nations’ Ladies, Peace and Safety Agenda (WPS) on Worldwide Ladies’s Day in 2019.

Over time, the duchess has visited a variety of nations to focus on the affect of historic and ongoing battle.

They embody Kosovo, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Colombia.

And he or she has heard first-hand testimonies from survivors of conflict-related sexual violence.

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The WPS initiative recognises the affect of battle on girls and women, and likewise the Positive position that girls play in battle decision and constructing peace.

It promotes the total, equal and significant participation of ladies in peace processes and politics, mentioned the palace.

The PSVI is a UK government-led initiative which raises consciousness of how conflict-related sexual violence is used as a weapon of conflict.

This violence disproportionately impacts girls and women, but additionally impacts males and boys all over the world.

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The initiative seeks to galvanise the world into extra motion to deal with sexual violence in battle by selling prevention, strengthening justice and accountability, and supporting all survivors and youngsters born of conflict-related sexual violence.

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