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Glasgow twins with Mykolayiv, uniting through shipbuilding, after departing Rostov-on-Don

Scottish city is twinning with Ukrainian southern city as a sign of friendship and solidarity
Mykolaiv Oblast administration building
Mykolaiv Oblast administration building destroyed by Russian missile attack on 29 March 2022. Credit: Jason Beaubien

Glasgow, Scotland, has decided to forge a twinning relationship with the Ukrainian city of Mykolayiv, marking a departure from its previous twinning arrangement with Rostov-On-Don in Russia. Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 had prompted Glasgow to sever ties with its Russian counterpart.

Mykolayiv, a city that has borne the brunt of Russian missile strikes, was chosen not just for its unfortunate wartime circumstances but also for its shared shipbuilding history with Glasgow. The Scottish city aims to extend a hand of solidarity and friendship to Mykolayiv during the challenging times, BBC reports.

The mayor of Mykolayiv expressed deep gratitude in a letter, acknowledging the honor bestowed upon the city by Glasgow’s decision. Mykolayiv sees this twinning as an opportunity to expand international ties, seeking support and shared experiences to aid in the city’s reconstruction efforts and bring an end to the ongoing war.

Council leader Susan Aitken, after meeting with representatives of Ukraine in the UK, identified Mykolayiv as the most fitting counterpart for Glasgow. In a letter to Mykolayiv’s mayor, the council emphasized Glasgow’s willingness to provide not only moral support but also practical assistance to help Mykolayiv rebuild and recover amid the ongoing threat of attacks.

Mykolayiv, one of the first cities attacked during the invasion, successfully resisted Russian forces but endured daily artillery strikes afterward. The city’s mayor hopes to share international experiences with Glasgow to facilitate the reconstruction process.

The proposal for twinning with Mykolayiv will be presented to a full council meeting next week, where councillors will also deliberate on signing a memorandum of understanding. Plans include extending an invitation to representatives from Mykolayiv to attend a ceremonial event in Glasgow, solidifying the newfound bond between the two cities.

It is worth noting that Glasgow had maintained a twinning relationship with Rostov-On-Don, a major Russian trade hub situated on the Don River near the Black Sea, since 1986. The decision to shift this affiliation underscores Glasgow’s commitment to standing in solidarity with a city grappling with the consequences of war and destruction.

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