A PIPER played the Ukrainian anthem in solidarity with the people caught in Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the eastern European nation at a pro-independence rally held on Saturday.

All Under One Banner (AUOB) held a march in Paisley calling for an independent Scotland and to “make poverty history”.

Ahead of the event, AUOB said: "Paisley is home to some of the worst deprived areas in Scotland and that should be highlighted. The event will start and end in Ferguslie Park Gardens, which is in the heart of a seriously deprived area.

"With the SNP and Scottish government proclaiming a new referendum will happen in 2023, it’s important the movement gets prepared and shows that readiness for independence to the rest of the world. The time is now right to get back to marches and mass gatherings."

Following the event, the campaign organisation said that 2500 people had turned out.

AUOB wrote on Twitter: “We are proud to announce that over 2500 people took to the streets of Paisley today on the March for Independence - Make Poverty History. Well done everyone!”

The march had been organised before Russia launched the invasion of Ukraine, but organisers urged attendees to show their support. AUOB wrote on Twitter on February 27: “We encourage placards and banners with messages of support for the people of Ukraine, and flying national flags in solidarity with the right to self determination.

“No to War! Scotland welcomes refugees.”

The blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag were worn by the pipers leading the march. Video footage of the event also shows the crowd carrying an enormous Saltire.

At the rally afterwards, JR Ewen from the Saor Alba pipe band played the Ukrainian national anthem.

SNP representatives George Adam MSP, Patricia Gibson MP and Kenneth Gibson MSP were also present.

An AUOB spokesperson told The National: "Today the independence movement was back on the streets. The turnout of 2500 shows the urgency and demand to win independence so that we can make poverty history and end this rotten Union.

"It also shows the strength of solidarity for people in Ukraine and those caught up in conflicts around the world. We need to create a different society so we can live in peace, prosperity and a nuclear-free country."