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Duchess of Edinburgh ‘Sophie’ Makes First Royal Visit to Ukraine Amid Russian Invasion

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(CTN News) – In a historic move, the Duchess of Edinburgh, Sophie, has become the first member of the Royal Family to visit Ukraine since the onset of the Russian invasion.

Her one-day visit, orchestrated by the Foreign Office, aimed to demonstrate solidarity with the Ukrainian people, particularly those affected by the ongoing conflict.

The duchess paid her respects to the victims of the war, particularly honoring those who lost their lives in the town of Bucha during the Russian occupation. Her itinerary also included a crucial meeting with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.

This unprecedented visit underscores the Royal Family’s vocal support for Ukraine, with King Charles previously denouncing the aggression of the Russian invasion on its second anniversary in February.

Sophie Advocates Against Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones

During state visits to France and Germany, the King emphasized the importance of standing with Ukraine, echoing sentiments expressed by his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Sophie’s trip to Ukraine included poignant encounters with survivors of sexual violence and torture, shedding light on the harrowing human costs of conflict.

At an evening reception hosted by the UK ambassador to Ukraine, Martin Harris, she shared her experiences from meeting survivors in other conflict-stricken regions.

In her discussions with President Zelensky and First Lady Olena Zelenska, the duchess conveyed a private message from King Charles and explored avenues for supporting survivors of sexual violence in conflict zones.

Sophie’s advocacy for the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative aligns with the broader royal commitment to addressing this critical issue.

Royal Solidarity in Action:

This unexpected visit serves as a symbolic gesture of royal solidarity with Ukraine.

It follows previous engagements by members of the Royal Family, including Prince Charles’s visit to Ukrainian refugees in Romania and Prince William’s meeting with British troops in Poland near the Ukrainian border.

However, the royal visit hasn’t been without its challenges, as disinformation campaigns targeted the Royal Family.

The British Embassy in Russia had to refute false claims of the King’s demise, while security researchers highlighted the amplification of social media conspiracies by Russian disinformation networks.

Sophie’s journey to Ukraine adds to her legacy of venturing into regions rarely visited by the royals.

Her previous travels to Baghdad in Iraq, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo underscore her commitment to addressing pressing global issues, particularly those affecting women and children.

In the face of conflict and adversity, the Duchess of Edinburgh’s historic visit stands as a beacon of solidarity and compassion, echoing the unwavering support of the Royal Family for Ukraine’s journey towards peace and stability.

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Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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