Ukraine Updates

I know that many in Wrexham are worried about Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine. I want to make clear that I, and the UK Government, stand with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. 

Last week, I was very pleased to be able to help Anna Buckley and the Polish Integration Support Group (PISC) to find warehouse space and volunteers to support their appeal for Ukrainian refugees - you can see the volunteers and I in action here.

I also commend the world leadership shown by the Prime Minister in support of Ukraine over these past months, and the leading role he has played in encouraging the West to impose the most severe and coordinated package of sanctions Russia has ever faced in response to Putin's illegal invasion of Ukraine.

For all the latest updates from the UK Government, go here.

How can you help in Wrexham

You can donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal here.

Wrexham’s Polish Integration Support Centre (PISC), led by Anna Buckley, also organised a collection to support Ukrainian refugees at the Polish border. More information on the progress of the appeal can be found on the PISC Facebook page, here.

UK Government support for Ukraine

The UK Government has announced wide ranging support for Ukraine, including:


  • The UK Government have enacted wide ranging sanctions to target Russia’s economy and the Russian President, Vladimir Putin. The sanctions will ban Russia’s economically vital industries and companies from raising finance on the UK’s money markets – the most important financial centre in Europe and they will also stop Russian banks, alongside state and privately-owned companies from borrowing from UK lenders.
  • Additional economic sanctions have also been imposed against the Russian Central Bank and the state’s sovereign wealth fund, meaning the majority of Russia’s financial system is now covered by UK sanctions.
  • The UK has also banned Russian ships from using UK ports and authorities will have new powers to detain Russian vessels.

Changes to the immigration system:

  • Homes for Ukraine scheme – announced on Sunday
    • No limit to the number of Ukrainian refugees who can live with UK host families under the new visa scheme.
    • Hosts will receive £350 a month from the UK Government.
    • Under the scheme, people in the UK will be able to nominate an individual or family to stay with them rent-free, or in another property, for at least six months.
    • Applications will be made online, and both hosts and refugees will be vetted. 
    • The first hosts and refugees will be matched this week, allowing the first Ukrainians to arrive in the UK through this route in about two weeks' time
  • Ukraine Family Scheme
    • Allows family members of British nationals, UK settled persons and certain others to come or stay in the UK. 
    • Those joining the Scheme will be granted leave for three years and will be able to work and access public funds. 
    • The Scheme is also free and does not include any salary or language requirements.
  • Ukrainians already in the UK
    • Relaxed rules mean that they can extend their visa or switch to another immigration route, where eligible, even if their visa does not normally allow them to do so

I appreciate that there have been concerns about the speed with which visas have been issued. However, security and biometrics checks are a fundamental part of the UK’s visa approval process. Given the acute security challenges in Ukraine, Russian efforts to infiltrate and merge with Ukrainian forces, the presence of extremists on the ground and Putin’s willingness to use violence on British soil, it is right that the Government continues to protect the public by maintaining these vital checks. This is a policy that has been retained consistently throughout all emergency evacuations, including in Afghanistan.

However, Government has announced changes to the Ukrainian Family Scheme meaning the Government will no longer require Ukrainians with passports to go to a Visa Application Centre to give their biometrics before they come to the UK. Instead, once their application has been considered and appropriate checks have been completed, they will receive direct notification that they are eligible for the Scheme and can come to the UK. In short, Ukrainians with passports will be able to get permission to come to the UK fully online and will be able to give their biometrics once in Britain.

The Home Office is also providing support to MPs in Parliament, so if you, or someone you know, is in Ukraine and needs assistance please do not hesitate to get in touch.

More information can be found on the UK Government website, here


  • The UK is one of the largest bilateral humanitarian aid donors to the Ukraine crisis, we have pledged £220 million to date. Thanks to the incredible generosity from the UK public, the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal has already raised over £130 million. The UK has to date aid-matched £25 million – our largest ever aid-match contribution
  • More than 1,000 British troops have been made ready to support NATO and allies in the event of a humanitarian crisis. These troops are at readiness in the UK to support a humanitarian response in the region should it be needed. The UK is also providing £40 million of aid to Ukraine, bringing the total amount pledged to £140 million.
  • The UK is also guaranteeing up to $500 million of loans to Ukraine through Multilateral Development Banks.

Military Assistance:

  • The UK Government has provided military assistance to Ukraine, and other European and NATO allies such as Poland and Estonia. The UK has, for a number of years now, worked to support Ukraine's security and defence by training over 22,000 members of the Ukrainian army through Operation ORBITAL and, since 2019, assisted Ukraine to build up and sustain a naval capability. In the months prior to the invasion, the UK provided extra support in the form of 2000 anti-armour missiles, which the Ukrainians are now putting to good use. Since the invasion, the UK has sent further military support.
  • In response to the invasion, the UK doubled the number of personnel in Estonia – a former Soviet state and now NATO member – sending in additional equipment, including tanks and armoured fighting vehicles.
  • The Royal Welsh battlegroup, the so-called ‘Welsh Warriors’, comprising roughly 850 personnel as well as tanks and military equipment left bases in the UK to join the Royal Tank Regiment in Estonia.
  • The Ministry of Defence has also sent the UK’s air defence system to Poland to bolster NATO’s eastern defences and to protect Europe from Russia’s military action in Ukraine.
  • 350 Royal Marines of 45 Commando have also been committed to Poland.

Why has NATO not established a no-fly zone around Ukraine?

I understand why many people are arguing for a no-fly zone to be instituted above Ukraine. However, such a policy would present too high a risk of miscalculation and escalation which could ultimately lead to the inadvertent triggering of NATO’s Article 5, the collective defence article meaning that an attack against one Ally is considered as an attack against all Allies.


Celebrating the work of the Polish Integration Support Centre

I had the pleasure of welcoming and celebrating the work of Anna Buckley and the Polish Integration Support Centre (PISC), who - along with many volunteers - have collected and sorted huge amounts of donations as part of their appeal for support for Ukrainian refugees.

Signing Parliament's Ukrainian Book of Solidarity

It was an honour to sign the Parliamentary Book of Solidarity for Ukraine on behalf of Wrexham residents and to express my support for the Ukrainian people.

Our Parliament, nation and town stands in solidarity with Ukraine.