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Call for lights to fall dark in support of Ukraine

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A Leeds MP has urged people and businesses to join with other cities in a festive light switch-off to show solidarity with Ukraine.

Alex Sobel, who is also co-chair of Parliament's all-party Ukraine group, asked the city to take part in "Hour for Ukraine" at 20:00 GMT on Wednesday.

The symbolic action aims to draw attention to the millions of people in Ukraine facing a difficult winter.

Other UK cities taking part include Edinburgh, Liverpool and London.

Mr Sobel, Labour MP for Leeds North West, said: "This winter will be the bleakest ever for many of our Ukrainian friends and allies, and I know lots of people want to show they have not forgotten them.

"Britain - and Leeds - have a proud history of showing solidarity with those facing war and oppression, so I'm pleased we are officially joining cities like London and Sydney in this symbolic show of support to Ukraine, and would encourage other cities to do the same."

Russia has targeted Ukraine's power grid since 10 October, following a string of heavy military defeats.

Earlier this month, Vladimir Putin vowed to continue the attacks despite millions being left without electricity or water.

Lesia Vasylenko, Ukrainian MP and co-chair of the Ukrainian British parliamentary friendship group, said: "Courtesy of Russian bombs, Ukrainians shall have a very dark and cold Christmas this year, but even without the festivities our spirit remains unbreakable."

The switch off is part of a fundraising drive to buy generators for hospitals across Ukraine.

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