Around the world, Ukrainians unite to support Ukraine and fight against russian aggression

#UWC news
April 8,2022 625
Around the world, Ukrainians unite to support Ukraine and fight against russian aggression

To focus the world’s attention on the shocking crimes of Russian aggression, Ukrainian communities across the globe are staging demonstrations, renaming streets and putting on performances near the embassies and consulates of the aggressor nation.  All the while, they have not neglected for a second their continuing support for Ukrainian refugees, helping them transition with dignity into new living conditions. 


On April 6, thousands of people marched on the Bundestag to demand an end to Putin’s war and for tougher economic restrictions against Russia. Participants of the action, Ukrainians and locals alike, came to the square with Ukrainian flags, symbols and protest signs. They demanded a governmental embargo on Russian gas, coal and oil.  Protesters drew attention to the abuse and brutal mass killings of innocent civilians – mostly women, children and the elderly –  by Russian occupiers in Bucha, Irpen and Hostomel. As a sharp reminder of the recent horrors discovered upon liberation of towns northwest of Kyiv, many protesters tied their hands behind their backs as the entire crowd fell to the ground in mock death at the end of the demonstration.  


This week, the Ukrainian community in Antalya organized a bike ride in support of Ukraine and against Russia’s brutal war of aggression. More than seventy Ukrainians and friends cycled along the city beachfront with Ukrainian flags, honoring the victims of full-scale armed aggression. In memory of the many children who have died at the hands of the Russian occupiers, participants laid children’s toys and little shoes on the ground.


Free Ukraine Square is a newly renamed public square on St Clair Avenue in Toronto, Ontario, located in front of the Russian Consulate.  The square was renamed and a dedication ceremony was held March 20.   Thanks to the joint efforts of the local branch of the Ukrainian-Canadian Congress and Toronto city hall, the square has become a symbol of peace and solidarity between Toronto and Ukraine and a daily reminder to consulate visitors that Ukraine protects the democratic world from Krelim terrorism. Toronto Mayor John Tory said that if the Russian consulate decided to relocate, Free Ukraine Square would follow it.  


On April 4, the Ukrainian community in New York gathered for a protest rally in front of the headquarters of global cigarette and tobacco giant Philip Morris International. The participants of the action, which was jointly organized by Ukrainian community activists and the Consulate General of Ukraine, demanded the termination of Philip Morris International’s cooperation with Russia and the complete closure of its activities in the aggressor country.


On April 3, another demonstration in support of Ukraine took place at  Republic Square in Rome, during which Ukrainian and local activists called on the world to stop Putin’s brutal terror campaign in Ukraine. Hundreds of people marched in the square carrying signs bearing slogans “Restore Peace to Ukraine” and “Stop Putin!” . The protesters also called on Italian companies to withdraw from the Russian market to stop funding Russian military aggression. 


Even the most brutal Russian aggression can’t stop the cycle of life.  New Ukrainians are being born all across the lands of refuge for new Ukrainian mothers.  Support for Ukrainian moms-to-be by the Diaspora has been heartwarming.  In a touching example,  heavily pregnant Nadya was forced to flee Kyiv with her son.  Upon her arrival in Slovenia, she was cared for by Halyna Malovshek. Ms Maloshek,  director of the Association of Ukrainians in Slovenia “Berehynia”, arranged for Nadya’s official registration, housing, food and doctor’s visits with Ukrainian translation.  All this generous assistance helped Nadya give birth to a healthy son.  His name Maxim was chosen by his older brother.  Throughout the ordeal, Halyna was on hand to provide support for the young mother in a new country. 


“For Peace in Ukraine” is an initiative launched by Ukrainian youth in Serbia along with people from other countries who hooked up in a Facebook meeting. Recently, the group gathered in downtown Novi Sad to promote a clear message to the local government and residents demonstrating the unity of youth in condemning Russian aggression in Ukraine and supporting the temporary migrant community of Ukrainians now in Serbia. Throughout Serbia, the Ukrainian community is working to support refugees in cooperation with the Union of Rutherian-Ukrainians of Serbia. The parish of Apostles Peter and Paul and the Ukrainian community in Novi Sad and Novy Orakhiv collected material aid including drinking water, canned food, hygiene products, clothing and footwear for children, and sent the first part of this aid to Ukraine in late March. With the direct support of the Union of Rutherian-Ukrainians of Serbia, Ukrainian refugees are provided food and shelter in Novi Sad, Zhabla and Durdovo. Important work is done by Ukrainian advocates Professor Mykhailo Ramach and Dr. Borys Varha who work to keep the truth about Russian aggression against Ukraine in the press, radio and television. The Union works with Ukraine’s Serbian embassy to deliver effective support.    


Ukraine’s national scout organization Plast has made support for Ukraine a top priority among its many international affiliates.  In Newark, New Jersey, Plast members sent three thousand individual first aid kits (IFAKs) to Ukrainian defenders fighting in Ukraine. The resourceful scouts made a camouflage net that they included with a package of humanitarian and medical aid.  A platoon of scouts in London, UK, have been hard at work gathering medical equipment and first aid kits for victims of Russian aggression.  Their tireless efforts were reported by BBC News in London.   

Visit the UWC for more information on country-specific help and resources for Ukrainian temporarily displaced persons in Europe and North America.  

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