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British royalty visits Ukraine first time since Russia's full-scale invasion

British royalty visits Ukraine first time since Russia's full-scale invasion Duchess of Edinburgh Sophie and First Lady Olena Zelenska (
Author: Maria Kholina

Duchess of Edinburgh Sophie has become the first member of the British royal family to visit Ukraine since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion in 2022, according to BBC.

On Monday, she arrived for a one-day visit on behalf of the British Foreign Ministry to "demonstrate solidarity with the women, men and children impacted by the war."

The Duchess paid tribute to the memory of those killed in the town of Bucha, Kyiv region, during the Russian occupation.

During her trip, Sophie spoke with victims of sexual violence and torture, and at an evening reception at the residence of the British Ambassador to Ukraine Martin Harris, she shared her experience of meeting conflict victims in other countries.

"Women and girls pay the highest price in terms of human costs," she said, adding: "Rape is used to demean, to degrade and to destroy."

Sophie also talked to children who were returned to Ukraine after being forcibly taken to Russia by occupiers, and visited a town that was blown up to halt the advance of Russian soldiers towards Kyiv.

During a meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and First Lady Olena Zelenska, the Duchess conveyed a private message from King Charles and discussed support for victims of sexual violence during conflicts.

King of Great Britain Charles III supported Ukrainians on the second anniversary of the full-scale invasion. The monarch stated that he is inspired by the strength and resilience of the Ukrainian people who continue to fight for their freedom and independence.

Prior to this, in 2022, Charles, then Prince of Wales, visited Ukrainian refugees who crossed the border into Romania.