(Photo by Oleksii Samsonov/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)

Regional Signal

Turku, Finland donates buses and aid to Kharkiv, Ukraine


Turku, Finland – Kharkiv, Ukraine

In a gesture of solidarity and support, Turku Citytrafic, the public transport service provider of the City of Turku, has generously donated two decommissioned buses to Kharkiv, Turku’s twin city in northeast Ukraine.

Packed with various aid supplies, including winter football equipment donated by FC Inter and its partners, these buses aim to young people practice football practice in Kharkiv.

The buses, which departed for Kharkiv on November 23, were driven by voluntary bus drivers of ProAid Network, showcasing a collaborative effort to make a positive impact on the lives of Kharkiv’s residents.

“This aid delivery is part of the City of Turku’s relentless support of Ukraine and our twin town Kharkiv. I would like to extend my warmest thanks to Turun Kaupunkiliikenne Oy and FC Inter for their significant donations and to the Ukrainians of Finland association for organizing the collection campaign,” expressed Minna Arve, Mayor of Turku.

Juha Parkkonen, Managing Director of Turun Kaupunkiliikenne Oy, emphasized the importance of repurposing the buses to benefit Kharkiv and its residents, stating, “I am pleased that the buses that previously served the residents of Turku can now help the City of Kharkiv and its residents.”

The aid delivery aligns with Turku’s ongoing commitment to supporting Ukraine, especially in times of need. The collaboration between Turku and Kharkiv is based on a twin city agreement signed in August 2022, focusing on mutual assistance and long-term cooperation in urban development.

FC Inter Turku played a crucial role in the initiative, coordinating the distribution of winter football equipment with the Ukrainian Association of Football. Julius Håkans, Chair of the Board of Directors of FC Inter ry, highlighted the power of football to unite people, stating, “Football has the power to unite people and give hope even during the darkest moments.”

The donated buses and aid materials contribute to Turku’s broader efforts to assist Ukraine. Since Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, Turku has consistently provided financial assistance and aid to support the war-torn country.

Olena Herasimenko, Chair of the Ukrainians of Finland association, emphasized the ongoing need for support, stating, “Through our cooperation in the delivery of humanitarian aid, we can bring Ukraine closer to its victory. We must continue to keep in mind that the war is still going on, and we cannot afford to stop assisting Ukraine, not even for a moment.”

The recent aid delivery adds to Turku’s previous contributions, including electric and heating equipment delivered just before Christmas last year. The Finnish city continues to offer support to Ukrainian refugees, showcasing a commitment to solidarity in both words and actions.

Turku’s Library Bridge has been illuminated in blue and yellow since the onset of the war in February 2022, serving as a symbolic gesture of support. The city plans to continue demonstrating solidarity with Ukraine through various winter and holiday activities, ensuring that the people of Kharkiv and Ukraine know they are not alone in their struggles.