The Ukrainian society president said that she was worried that Ukrainian students weren't getting enough support from the University Varsity

Students gathered on King’s Parade in solidarity with Ukraine, as Russian forces invaded the country this morning.

The Cambridge University Ukrainian society (CUUS) organised the rally, at which attendees held signs like “Stop Putin,” “Isolate Dictators,” and “Stand with Ukraine,” chanted, made speeches, and sang the Ukrainian national anthem.

Organisers expressed shock at the number of people who came: “I only thought there would be ten or fifteen people out here.” There were at least fifty people present, a large proportion of which were Russian. One Russian attendee said she hoped the Ukrainians around her knew that she thought it was Russia, and not Ukraine, that was “fascist”.

The founding president of the Ukrainian society said she found it “heartening” that so many Russians had shown up, and that it showed “we stand together, Russians don’t want this war either.”

The crowd was not just student dominated, there were families with young children present as well as elderly Cambridge residents. They shared an overwhelming fear for their families in Ukraine, one student telling me “I’ve been calling home every hour today.”

The CUUS president said she was worried that Ukrainian students weren’t going to be given enough support at this difficult time: “We have quite a few undergrad and postgrad students, and we are not sure if the university and teaching bodies are aware enough of what’s happening. I’m sure they couldn’t study today. We want to make sure the administration understands what’s happening and that they can support the Ukrainian students.”

The Ukrainian society was still awaiting a message of support from the University’s Russian Society, but had received support from the UN society, the Estonian Society, and the Polish Society. Ukrainian students present hoped that the British public would stand with them, not just symbolically, but politically: “we don’t just want solidarity, we want sanctions.”

Looking forward, the Ukrainian society will continue to organise events in the upcoming week. They hope to travel together to join a protest at the Ukrainian embassy in London on Saturday, and to organise an upcoming march from Sidgwick site to Castle Mound.