Moving performance on anniversary of Russian invasion from child pianist who fled Ukraine to UK

A teenage pianist who fled Ukraine when war broke out has performed in Liverpool to mark a year since the start of the invasion.

Thirteen-year-old Alisa Bushuieva and her mother Svitlana left their home in Kharkiv last February after the city was bombed in the Russian invasion.

The young musician, who had previously played for dignitary events in her home country, played the piano to try and lift spirits in refugee camps in Ukraine and Poland, before moving to south Wales and then to stay with a host family in Wirral, Merseyside.

On Friday, exactly one year since Vladimir Putin launched his invasion, Alisa performed in the Liverpool ONE shopping centre ahead of a one-minute silence at 11am.

The teenager, wearing a traditional Ukrainian floral headband and dress, then played her country’s national anthem.

Speaking before the performance, Alisa said: “This will be a very memorable occasion for me and something I will never forget.”

Donna Howitt, from Liverpool ONE, said: “I heard about Alisa’s story and her talents which moved me and the team.

“Inviting her to perform felt a respectful way to support her passion and join on the solidarity with the Ukrainian community on this day.

“I had the privilege of being able to visit Alisa and hear her play and I was totally moved – she is an incredibly talented young lady and has obviously done so much to support her friends and indeed her community too.

“Alisa and her mum have been through so much and we are just pleased they are now settling into their new life in Wirral.

“It was an honour to meet Alisa and her mum and invite them to Liverpool to showcase Alisa’s wonderful talents to our city.”