There is fury and anger today after a Ukrainian peace garden in Liverpool was destroyed by Bonfire Night vandals.
The garden was opened ahead of Liverpool's hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest, which the city did on behalf of Ukraine as it continues to face the horrors of the Russian invasion.
Videos shared on social media show the garden being destroyed by vandals on Bonfire Night. In one clip people can be seen throwing the garden's specially made sign onto a large fire.
Liverpool City Council shared that video, originally from Tik Tok, on its own Twitter/X account. The council said: "We're aware of shocking footage of vandals destroying the Ukrainian Peace Garden in the Baltic Triangle, which was opened for Eurovision. Anyone with information can DM @MerPolCC or ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’ on Facebook, quoting log 793 of 5th November or call 101."
In another video, shared by the Big Help Group charity, the destruction of the garden is clear to see. There is a huge burnt area where a bonfire was lit, with plants wrecked and a large amount of debris sprayed across the garden.
The charity said: "We're so proud to have supported establishing the Ukrainian Peace Garden. To see it be destroyed and disrespected to such an extent is heartbreaking for the community for which it provided solace, and for the people who worked so hard to create it."
Liverpool Council confirmed that the garden's sign, benches and peace poles created by pupils at St Vincent's specialist school have been burnt – while a wishing well in the garden has also been damaged.
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The council's cabinet member for health, well being and culture, Cllr Harry Doyle took to Twitter/X to share his dismay. He said: "I’ve just come across a video of a gang of idiots completely destroying the Ukrainian Peace Garden in the Baltic Triangle. Some people have no heart and no brain. These people make it hard to run events on Bonfire night."
Fellow Liverpool Councillor, Hetty Wood said: "Awful to see the wanton destruction that has happened to the garden; it had so much work and love put into it by local children and the Ukrainian community.
"We will be coming together with partners in the coming days to work out how we go forward and what is next for the space."
The garden was officially opened by Everton's Ukrainian football star Vitaliy Mykolenko ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest in May. It was hoped that as well as a symbol of solidarity with the war-ravaged country, the garden would continue to be an asset for people living and working in the Baltic area.