Caring residents have been praised for providing support to those fleeing war in Ukraine.

In a message to mark the first anniversary of the Russian invasion, Renfrewshire South MSP Tom Arthur hailed local communities for “standing in solidarity” with people seeking refuge.

The SNP politician, whose constituency stretches from Johnstone to Barrhead, also highlighted the role played by the Scottish Government and council chiefs in providing Ukrainian refugees with housing, healthcare, education and employment support.

“It is with a heavy heart that we must acknowledge one year of the illegal occupation of Ukraine by Russian forces,” said Mr Arthur.

“This occupation has, over the past 12 months, brought about the displacement of over eight million people from Ukraine.

“Scotland initially committed to welcome 3,000 Ukrainian refugees but has well surpassed that and, to date, more than 23,000 Ukrainian men, women and young people have arrived in Scotland.

“As well as providing refugees with housing, healthcare, education and employment support, the Scottish Government and local authorities across the country have united in their condemnation of Russia’s unprovoked attacks on Ukraine.

“Communities across Renfrewshire South stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, who have shown incredible strength and bravery over the past year.”

Local residents joined people across the UK in observing a minute of silence at 11am on Friday to mark the anniversary of the Russian invasion.