Prince William and Kate Middleton Say They ‘Stand’ with ‘All of Ukraine’s People’ amid War in the Country

Prince William, Kate Middleton, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and First Lady Olena Zelenska

 

Prince William and Kate Middleton are standing with Ukraine.

Amid Russia’s invasion of the country, which began earlier this week, William, 39, and Kate, 40, offered words of support for Ukraine in a statement shared on their joint @KensingtonRoyal Twitter account on Saturday.

“In October 2020 we had the privilege to meet President Zelenskyy and the First Lady to learn of their hope and optimism for Ukraine’s future,” the statement from the couple began.

“Today we stand with the President and all of Ukraine’s people as they bravely fight for that future,” their statement continued, adding an emoji of Ukraine’s flag.

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge signed off their message with their initials, writing, “W & C.”

Prince William and Kate’s message of support comes about shortly after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spoke out about the Russian invasion in Ukraine this week as well.

“Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and all of us at Archewell stand with the people of Ukraine against this breach of international and humanitarian law and encourage the global community and its leaders to do the same,” a statement posted to their Archewell website on Thursday read.

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Prince William, Kate Middleton, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and First Lady Olena Zelenska during an audience at Buckingham Palace on October 7, 2020 in London, England.

Prince William, Kate Middleton, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and First Lady Olena Zelenska during an audience at Buckingham Palace on October 7, 2020 in London, England.

Jonathan Brady/WPA Pool/Getty

Russia began its invasion of Ukraine earlier this week, according to the Ukraine government, with forces moving from the north, east, and south.

The attack is still evolving, but explosions and airstrikes have been reported, with threats mounting against the capital, Kyiv, a city of 2.8 million people. Numerous residents have been seen trying to flee.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression toward Ukraine has been widely condemned by the international community, including with economic sanctions and NATO troops massing in the region. Putin, 69, insists Ukraine has historic ties to Russia and he is acting in the interest of so-called “peacekeeping.”

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“The prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces,” President Joe Biden said as the invasion appeared to begin in force this week.

The Russian attack on Ukraine is an evolving story, with information changing quickly. Follow PEOPLE’s complete coverage of the war here, including stories from citizens on the ground and ways to help.