BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Mayor Randall Woodfin has weighed in for the first time on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, offering thoughts and prayers to Vinnytsia, Birmingham’s Ukrainian sister city.
In a statement sent to CBS 42 Friday afternoon, Woodfin called the invasion a “conflict,” adding that Ukrainians “deserve a peaceful resolution.”
“The City of Birmingham’s thoughts are with our sister city of Vinnytsia during the conflict in Ukraine,” Woodfin said. “The people of Vinnytsia and throughout Ukraine deserve a peaceful resolution to this conflict. We pray for their safety and that justice is delivered.”
Vinnytsia’s city government had previously said representatives from Birmingham had “expressed their support and readiness to help” the city.
Serhii Morhunov, mayor of Vinnytsia, released a video last April where he directly addressed the Magic City community.
“I would like to express my gratitude to my colleagues from Birmingham – the whole city community and the Ukrainian diaspora – because citizens have felt your support for many years,” Morhunov said at the time.
Vinnytsia is in the south-central part of Ukraine, about 125 miles southwest of Kyiv, the nation’s capital.
Birmingham and Vinnytsia became sister cities in 2003, according to Birmingham Sister Cities, a nonprofit organization that facilitates the cultural partnerships.
According to the organization, Birmingham currently has 13 sister cities in 11 different countries.