We are now heading towards the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

This brutal war has taken a devastating toll on the proud Ukrainian nation and its people.

With thousands killed and millions displaced it has acted as a stark reminder of the threat that is posed by authoritarian regimes such as Putin’s Russia.

This week President Zelensky visited the UK Parliament at what is a critical time in the conflict.

He has been a beacon of hope in these dark days for Ukraine and it is an honour that he would choose to come to the UK at this time.

We must keep supporting the Ukrainian fight to defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of the Russian aggressor.

We must not allow the war to slip from our minds and forget why it is so important that they fight back the invaders as we continue through this second year of the invasion.

Therefore, it is welcome that the UK government will be providing our Challenger 2 battle tanks and AS90 self-propelled guns.

When combined with the already substantial military equipment supplied it is absolutely right that we have given them the means to defend themselves.

These weapons systems are incredibly important, but I also want to highlight the support the people of Bury have provided.

Many people across our town have opened their homes to people who have fled the violence in Ukraine, our town has welcomed them and I would particularly like to take the opportunity to all those from local community groups and the council who have done so much to welcome them at what is a truly traumatic point in their lives.

A moment that will always remain with me is seeing the hundreds of local people who came together at the Polish Social Centre in Bury and other locations across our towns, to send many trucks full of essential supplies that had been donated by local people over to Ukraine.

The care and compassion shown were truly incredible.

We must recognise the people from our town who have taken Ukrainians into their homes, donated essential supplies at the start of the war, done a remarkable job coordinating the transfer of supplies to Ukraine and those from our town who even went to volunteer in Ukraine and the Polish border.

But the point of this column is to ask everyone in Bury, please do not allow the stories of human suffering from the frontline in Ukraine to slowly fade further away from the headlines and people’s thoughts.

It is critical that we remain resolute as the economic impacts of the war continue to bite and we stand by the Ukrainians as they face off against the authoritarian Russian aggressor.