OUR emergency appeal to help to the people of Ukraine has got off to a flying start.

This week the South Wales Argus and its sister newspapers across the Newsquest family launched a joint fundraising appeal to help the Ukrainian people.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has shocked the world and led to international condemnation, amid heartbreaking scenes of death, destruction and a humanitarian crisis, with millions of people fleeing the fighting.

We want to help. Our readers want to help. Dozens of news titles run by Newsquest across the UK are coming together to convey a simple message – let’s give what we can and do what we can do.

We are joining forces with a single appeal across all our news titles, allowing readers to contribute to to the Red Cross DEC Ukraine Humanitarian appeal, via a Justgiving page if they want to join us in doing what we can to help.

And since its launch, political leaders across Gwent have lent their support to our appeal.

"I think all of us have been horrified by the images of war and human suffering in Ukraine following Russia's unjustified and brutal invasion, including attacks on civilians," said Newport East MP Jessica Morden.

"I commend the Argus on this campaign in support of the DEC appeal - it's another way of showing of solidarity with the people of Ukraine at this difficult time, and it has my full support."

David Davies, MP for Monmouth and a Wales Office minister, said: "Congratulations to the South Wales Argus for setting up this worthy Ukraine appeal dedicated to helping and saving those affected by this horrific, bloody and unnecessary war.

"I know that its readers will fully get behind this much-needed appeal and generously pledge their support by giving what they can afford."

Nick Smith, MP for Blaenau Gwent, said: "We must all stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

"Every day we are reminded of their courage as they suffer this heinous attack and bravely defend their country. They need our support and aid. I would encourage readers to please donate if they are able."

Islwyn MP Chris Evans has also backed the campaign

"I think it is absolutely fantastic that the South Wales Argus has launched an appeal to raise funds to assist those impacted by this terrible war," he said.

"Over the past few weeks I have been inundated with residents asking how they can help, and I think donating to this appeal is a brilliant way to do so."

And Caerphilly MP Wayne David added: "What the people of Ukraine are experiencing is terrible beyond belief. They need all the help and support we can give them. I fully support this appeal and I'm sure people will be generous."

Gwent's Senedd members have also spoken in support of this worthy cause.

Rhianon Passmore, the Islwyn MS, said: "The sight of Ukrainian families ripped apart, as a huge migration of women and children refugees fleeing the war occurs, are scenes that are truly heart-breaking.

"I would urge everyone to offer what small donation they can to this worthy appeal."

"With more than two million people having fled the conflict in Ukraine, donations to the Red Cross will help support our friends in Ukraine through the provision of aid, supplies and financial support," Natasha Asghar, South Wales East MS, said. "Generosity and hospitality lie at the core of Wales’ communities, and I am proud to see people in Wales rallying together to support our friends in Ukraine."

Delyth Jewell, who also represents South Wales East in the Senedd, said: “I’m really proud to see our local paper, the South Wales Argus, supporting the DEC’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, in conjunction with its sister publications."

She added: “I hope the people of Wales continue our proud tradition of helping those in need, and that we will offer a warm welcome to people who will be seeking sanctuary here as they try to keep their families safe from Putin’s abhorrent warfare.”

South Wales Argus: #ThereWithUkraine#ThereWithUkraine

Donations made via JustGiving and use of the JustGiving website will be subject to the JustGiving privacy policy https://www.justgiving.com/about/info/privacy-policy/privacy-policy-v30 and cookie policy https://www.justgiving.com/about/info/cookie-notice 

None of the donation will be collected by Newsquest. Financial transactions are with JustGiving to donate to the British Red Cross Society DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

In the unlikely event that the British Red Cross Society raise more money than can be reasonably and efficiently spent, any surplus funds will be used to help them prepare for and respond to other humanitarian disasters anywhere in the world.

For more information visit https://donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/disaster-fund Charity Registration No. Eng/Wales 220949,Scot SC037738, IOM 0752, Jers430