The Palais de l’Europe, the headquarters of the Council of Europe, went dark tonight as part of the #HourForUkraine initiative, joining other iconic buildings around the world to show solidarity with millions of Ukrainians, who are currently living with no electricity, heating or water as a result of Russia’s aggression.
After an hour, the lights went back on in the yellow and blue colours of Ukraine in – as PACE President Tiny Kox put it – “a sign of trust that the people and State of Ukraine will prevail”.
In a statement to mark the 300th day of the war, Mr Kox again called on the President, Government and Parliament of Russia to immediately end the aggression and withdraw all military forces from the territory of Ukraine. “We will do everything within our mandate to help the brave people and the State of Ukraine to overcome this man-made catastrophe,” he declared.
“By going dark on the shortest day of the year we, together with citizens and institutions across Europe and around the world, will share for one hour the darkness so many Ukrainian citizens are confronted with day after day,” he added.
The Palais is the home of the 46-nation Council of Europe, Europe's oldest and broadest treaty-based organisation. By taking part, it joins other iconic buildings around the world, including the Colosseum in Rome, the Sydney Opera House, the CN Tower in Toronto, Canterbury Cathedral, the Scottish Parliament, Bucharest city centre, and Trafalgar Square.
The project is at the initiative of members of Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkovhna Rada, including PACE member Lesia Vasylenko.