Spanish village changes its name to Ukraine in show of solidarity

By Jon Nazca

FUENTES DE ANDALUCIA, Spain (Reuters) - A peaceful white-walled village in southern Spain has changed its name to Ukraine in solidarity with those caught up in the conflict more than 4,000 km (2,500 miles) away.

On a sign at a roundabout at the village's entrance, Ukraine has replaced Fuentes de Andalucia and the country's blue and yellow flag has been painted alongside.

Streets have been renamed City of Kyiv, Odesa and Mariupol in the village of more than 7,100 inhabitants east of Seville.

"The main objective is to raise awareness about the conflict in Ukraine but also about where countries are at war in current times," Francisco Martinez told Reuters as he stood in City of Kiev street.

Martinez said the name change was more than a gesture and villagers had also raised 3,500 euros ($3,780) within two days towards a planned refugee centre. The village wants to offer homes to up to 25 refugees at the centre or with families.

Rafael Osuna, 68, a pensioner, said he would take a Ukrainian couple into his house.

"The people of Fuentes are very proud of what we are doing," he said. "As I live alone and have a big house I have thought of taking in a Ukrainian couple for a while."

($1 = 0.9254 euros)

(Reporting by Graham Keeley, additional reporting Jon Nazca, Catherine Macdonald, Editing by Angus MacSwan)