Liskeard is forming a twinning link with a town in war-torn Ukraine. 

The move follows video meetings between the mayors of the two communities and builds on the sense of solidarity and goodwill that has grown in South East Cornwall as the war has continued in Ukraine. 

When Liskeard joins with Kopychyntsi this month, it will become one of just a handful of places in the UK to have created a formal twinning link. 

During a get-together on Sunday at Liskeard Public Hall for Ukrainian people living in the area, Kopychyntsi mayor Bogdan Kelichavyi appeared on a video call. He gave an update on the situation in his country and spoke of his happiness about the relationship being forged with Cornwall. 

Earlier this year he had heard about the work Liskeard had been doing in rebuilding its connection with Quimperle in France  and had reached out to town mayor, Simon Cassidy. 

Since then, discussions have taken place between the two about how links might be established between organisations, the farming communities and schools. 

Kopychyntsi lies to the south east of the city of Lviv. It has a population of a similar size to Liskeard and is predominantly surrounded by farming communities.  

Whilst the town has escaped much of the brunt of the war, many of the town’s citizens have fought and died in the conflict. Children in the schools are struggling to learn English because their teachers have been sent to the front to fight. Kopychyntsi’s mayor believes that one benefit of establishing links with Liskeard will be to give youngsters the chance to speak English – perhaps by the setting up of penpal schemes and video calls. 

Liskeard Town Council members voted unanimously in favour of the twinning and the paperwork has now been signed and sent on to Ukraine, where the council in Kopychyntsi is set to ratify the agreement. 

Cllr Cassidy said: “We were honoured to be approached by the mayor of Kopychyntsi, and over the last few months we have built up a good relationship which has enabled me to better understand the difficulties the people of Ukraine currently face. 

“At the same time, it’s allowed me to see a town, not that dissimilar to our own, reaching out with a hand of peace and friendship – we can learn a lot from each other.”