Hundreds of people joined a candle-lit vigil in Tavistock tonight in a show of emotional solidarity with Ukrainian refugees to mark the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of their country.

On an emotional night, residents from the Tavistock area gathered in Bedford Square to hear an appeal from some of the more than 50 Ukrainian refugees given sanctuary in local homes, not to forget victims of the war.

They were joined by Cllr Paul Ward, Town Mayor, and Sir Geoffrey Cox, MP for Torridge and West Devon, who also gave speeches.

Tania Kovalchuk, dressed in her traditional national costume, from Kiev, addressed the crowd, including compatriot refugees draped in the Ukrainian flag.

She said: 'It is 365 days since the invasion, 365 days of tears for our freedom, 365 days of tears for our lost soldiers on the front line and 365 days for those who have lost their homes.

'We are here to remember the price we and the people we have left behind, have paid for the fight for democracy. We thank everyone who have given up their homes and changed their lives for us. Please keep up your show of solidarity in standing by your values of democracy and freedom which we share. We will win this battle here and round the world for these values to be upheld.'

Cllr Ward said: 'This evening we pay homage to those who have died or been injured in Ukraine, those who have lost their homes, those enduring bombardment and the atrocities of war.'

Sir Geoffrey said: 'The UK has never been slow to come forward to uphold the values of democracy and freedom. We join our Ukrainian guests tonight in saluting those in Ukraine who continue to show the courage to stand against oppression and brutality.'