A Spanish village changes its name to Ukraine in a sign of solidarity

A cyclist passes a traffic sign that reads ‘City of kyiv Street’ after it was changed from the original name as other street names were also changed to include Ukrainian city names in favor of Ukraine, amid the Russian invasion, in the town of Fuentes de Andalucia, near Seville, southern Spain, April 16, 2022. The sign reads: ‘Numantine resistance of a town against the Russian invader”. REUTERS/Jon Nazca Reuters_tickers

This content was published on April 16, 2022 – 16:05

By Jon Nazca

FUENTES DE ANDALUCIA, Spain (Reuters) – A quiet white-walled village in southern Spain has changed its name to Ukraine in solidarity with those caught up in the conflict more than 4,000 km (2,500 miles) away.

On a sign at a roundabout at the entrance to the village, Ukraine replaced Fuentes de Andalucia and the country’s blue and yellow flag was painted alongside.

The streets have been renamed City of kyiv, Odesa and Mariupol in the village of more than 7,100 people east of Seville.

“The main objective is to raise awareness about the conflict in Ukraine but also about the countries at war at the moment,” Francisco Martinez told Reuters as he stood on a street in the city of kyiv.

Martinez said the name change was more than a gesture and that villagers also raised 3,500 euros ($3,780) in two days for a planned refugee center. The village wants to provide accommodation for up to 25 refugees at the center or with families.

Rafael Osuna, 68, a pensioner, said he would host a Ukrainian couple in his home.

“The people of Fuentes are very proud of what we do,” he said. “As I live alone and have a big house, I thought about hosting a Ukrainian couple for a while.”

($1 = 0.9254 euros)

(Reporting by Graham Keeley, additional reporting Jon Nazca, Catherine Macdonald, editing by Angus MacSwan)

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