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Factory Records’ Alan Erasmus heads to Lviv to back humanitarian support

The city has become a major location for Ukrainian refugees seeking safe passage and refuge

By Nick Reilly

Alan Erasmus poses in a black-and-white photo wearing a flat cap
Alan Erasmus.

Factory Records co-founder Alan Erasmus has told Rolling Stone UK that he’s heading to the Ukrainian city of Lviv tomorrow (March 5) to assist in the humanitarian effort for the ongoing invasion of the country by Russian forces.

The update comes after the 72-year-old’s efforts were initially revealed earlier this week by author and Hacienda legend Dave Haslam, who said that Erasmus planned to travel to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

When contacted by Rolling Stone UK earlier this week, Erasmus confirmed that he had travelled to the Polish city of Kraków but said that he was unable to secure a connecting train/bus to Kyiv.

Instead, the former record executive has now confirmed this morning (March 4) that he will head to Lviv tomorrow afternoon.

The city is only 50 miles away from the Polish border and has become a major location for Ukrainian refugees seeking safe passage and refuge.

Documents seen by Rolling Stone UK confirm that Erasmus will arrive in the city in the early hours of Sunday morning (March 6).

Erasmus started out as an actor and went on to found the legendary Manchester record label in 1978 with Tony Wilson. He subsequently co-founded the Haçienda nightclub with Wilson, Rob Gretton and New Order.

Erasmus has a long history of humanitarian action and was known to have driven to Liberia during the Ebola crisis to assist in the humanitarian relief effort.

Explaining his motivations in an initial message to Haslam, he wrote: “Cold, wet, Manchester morning. On Friday I thought, ‘I’m not having this’, I’ve fought bully’s [sic] of one kind or another, all my life, Putin is no different.

“This is a very, very important moment in history Dave, it cannot be lost,” he added, before confirming that he was flying to the Polish city of Kraków on Wednesday before making his way to the Ukrainian capital.

“Once there (with [The Durutti Column, an early Factory Records band and Anarchist group in the Spanish Civil War] in mind) I will set about convening the Factory Nentsov Column made up of fellow helpers and volunteers.”

Erasmus went on to share a plea for contacts and information in Kyiv, ending his message: “Maybe one person can make a difference. Wish me luck, stay safe.”

Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine last week, with Russian President Vladimir Putin announcing the assault in a pre-recorded address. Air strikes were subsequently reported on military facilities close to cities across Ukraine including the capital of Kyiv, and with Russian military vehicles breaching the border in a number of locations.

Yesterday (March 3) saw Russian forces seize control of Kherson, a key port city in the country’s south. It’s the first major city to fall to Russian invaders since the fighting began a week ago.

Ukraine says that more than 2,000 civilians have died since the invasion began, while over 500 troops are believed to have died.

An investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the country has been launched by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.