London, March 5, 2015 – Over 120 honourable guests and members of the public came to see the striking photography about the humanitarian catastrophe in the East of Ukraine at the photo exhibition ”Donbas: War and Peace” organised by the Global Friends of Ukraine in the Houses of Parliament on March 5.
The exhibition was presented to support the Global Friends of Ukraine “Victims of War Rehabilitation Project” aimed at raising funds for the psychological rehabilitation of Ukrainian combatants, many of whom have been dealing with the symptoms of the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The exhibition was brought to London in order to raise awareness about the humanitarian situation and the ongoing war in the East of Ukraine, which already claimed lives of 5,700 Ukrainians, both military and civilians. Over 14,000 sustained injuries in the course of the conflict and over 1 million people became displaced.
The exhibition was attended by members of the UK government and a high level official delegation from Ukraine, including Minister of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine, Olexij Pavlenko and First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Natalia Galibarenko.
David Lidington, Minister for Europe in the UK, in his opening remarks said: “We admire the courage of Ukrainian soldiers, defending their land from the external aggression” and added that “the Great Britain will continue to support Ukraine”.
The exhibition was inaugurated by John Whittingdale, the Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ukraine in the House of Commons and the Patron of the Global Friends of Ukraine.
Ukraine’s government representatives, Natalia Galibarenko, the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, and Iryna Gerashchenko, Official Representative of the President of Ukraine on the peaceful settlement of the conflict, highlighted the political and humanitarian challenges that the conflict represents for Ukraine and stressed the importance of global grass-root initiatives to help Ukraine to deal with its consequences.
“It is only now that the Ukrainian society realises the scale of the psychological traumas suffered by combatants in the east of Ukraine. We are starting from scratch in trying to build a capacity to deal with this issue,” said Adviser to the Minister of Defence, Dr Vsevolod Stebliuk. Dr Steblyuk, who is managing the rehabilitation program of the Ministry, will lead the partnership between the Global Friends of Ukraine and the Ministry to develop rehabilitation infrastructure and training programs in Ukrainian hospitals and PTSD units.