Pray for the Ukrainians Roma
Pray for the Ukrainians Roma
Why this petition matters
Ukrainian Roma have been caught up in the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting refugee crisis as some Roma men flock to join the Ukrainian military defence, some are conscripted and have no choice, and many Roma women and children are forced to flee the fighting, splitting Roma families apart, say Romani campaigners.
The massive Russian land, sea and air invasion of Ukraine started five days ago, in the early hours of Thursday morning, 24TH February, and was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, the invasion, which has attracted fierce and consistent opposition from around the world, appears to have stalled in the face of Ukrainian resistance from the vastly outnumbered and outgunned Ukrainian defence forces under the strong leadership of popular Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Meanwhile, Russian bombs and rockets have been falling on Ukrainian cities and towns prompting a refugee crisis as over a half a million men, women and children flee to the borders of the country to escape the war.
The Ukrainian Government has now ordered all men to stay in the country and to await conscription into the Ukranian defence. Many Ukrainian military reservists – including Roma - have also been called up to take part in the war. Despite Ukraine’s dark recent history of Roma persecution, reports are coming in of some Roma men volunteering to join the Ukrainian army to fight the Russians. The Travellers’ Times has seen publicly available pictures on social media of Roma men in Ukrainian military uniform proudly holding automatic rifles, ready to fight for their country against the Russian invasion.
The Travellers’ Times spoke to a Welsh Romany artisan who is in touch with a few Ukrainian Roma friends and who spoke to us on conditions of anonymity.
A Roma man who has volunteered for the Ukrainian army to defend against the Russian invasion
"My young Roma male friend is fighting and decided to defend his country before conscription came in. It is a fact that Roma are defending their country,” they said
My young Roma male friend is fighting and decided to defend his country before conscription came in. It is a fact that Roma are defending their country,” they said
“Several may have volunteered but to be honest any male aged 18 - 60 has been conscripted to fight in the Ukrainian army,” they added.
“Even those trying to get to either other parts of the country or other countries with their families they have been taken to fight. One of my Ukrainian friends is a female but her younger brother and fiancé have been conscripted - her and her mother and possibly a few other family members have managed to get close to the west of the country towards the border, but are also trying to help females get into Poland through the network of friends they have in Europe.”
- immigration department UK Parliament