Hampstead woman launches 'Wear A Sweater for Ukraine' movement

Louisa Martin has launched a Wear A Sweater for Ukraine movement to apply personal sanctions against Putin

Louisa Martin has launched a Wear A Sweater for Ukraine movement to apply personal sanctions against Putin - Credit: Louisa Martin

A Hampstead woman is urging people to boycott Vladimir Putin's oil and gas profits by turning down the heating and using less energy.

Louisa Martin has launched Wear a Sweater for Ukraine (#WASFU), a campaign in solidarity with the besieged European country.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine began last Thursday (February 24).

"I went out in my car as I needed petrol and at the station I paid with with my card at the pump and thought: 'I can't do it.' I felt like I was giving Putin money," said Louisa, who works in finance.

"I know there are a million in the chain between me and that and maybe I'm completely wrong but I just felt ill.

"I'm lucky enough to live in Hampstead, in the middle of London with great transport links and great shops. I'm not going to get in a car every week, I'll just walk.

"Maybe if everybody did that maybe he'd get fewer oil revenues."

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The UK imports very little oil and gas from Russia, approximately 6% she said. Europe relies on Russia for 40% of its natural gas and 25% of its oil. 

"If countries like ours who don't rely on Nord Stream 2 could save, could we divert any excess over to places like Germany to decrease their reliance on Russian oil? I've no idea if it's practical or not.

"You feel so helpless, these people are being so outrageously brave and can you do anything rather than hope or protest?"

She added: "The campaign is win win in that it potentially obstructs Putin's ambitions and weakens him financially, helps the environment, gives us all a sense of community, and helps us do something in support of the brave Ukrainian people who must, at the moment, be feeling very friendless."

Louisa's great grandparents came from Ukraine before emigrating to Canada. 

"It is part of my heritage. I've never really thought about it, it was so far removed, but with the events of the last week there's never been a  time that I've been prouder to have that in my heritage. They are just amazing.

"Putin has scared an entire generation of young people to death. They're absolutely petrified of nuclear war breaking out. I have friends in Canada who have children over here who are working age and they're freaking out. It's very, very scary."

Follow her Instagram account @wasfu2022