London will show solidarity for Ukraine this Christmas by joining cities across the world in turning off the Christmas lights for an hour. The city will be darkened for 60 minutes at 8pm today (Wednesday December 21) to support the millions of Ukrainians who won’t have power this winter.
As temperatures drop below –20C in Ukraine, more than 10 million people will be without light, heat and water. President Zelensky has called for solidarity with his country on the shortest and darkest day of the year.
The Christmas lights will be switched off at Trafalgar Square and Lambeth Palace, while museums, public squares, theatres, and other landmarks are also all encouraged to go dark. Residents have been encouraged to take part by turning off their own festive lights to reflect on the current situation in Ukraine.
The switch-off is part of a major fundraising effort to raise £8.24 million for generators to power hospitals in Ukraine. Other cities participating across the world include Liverpool, Edinburgh, Paris, New York and Sydney.
President Zelenksy said: ‘When the light shuts off, you always take it as something out of the ordinary. But when you spend four, ten, twenty hours or even days without it, and you start to get used to the darkness – that’s the worst thing ever.
‘That is why I am turning to you now, true friends of Ukraine. We need your support! Every doctor who is forced to operate in the dark. Every father and every mother who does everything to give their families what they need – even in the darkness. Every Ukrainian who has faith in freedom, despite the darkness.
‘Together we will stop this war! Please search for new ways to help Ukraine! And thank you to everyone who cares about freedom!’