Solo rallies and daily support: How Taras Kim from South Korea became an advocate for Ukraine

March 29,2024 406
Solo rallies and daily support: How Taras Kim from South Korea became an advocate for Ukraine

Taras Kim, a South Korean citizen not of Ukrainian descent, is known for consistently wearing a miniature blue and yellow flag as part of his attire. He actively engages in pro-Ukrainian activities, attends Ukrainian religious ceremonies, and his Facebook profile exclusively features posts showing his support for Ukraine. Since the onset of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Taras has become a vocal supporter of Ukraine both in South Korea and Japan.

The Ukrainian World Congress joins Taras in presenting a narrative of belief in Ukraine’s Victory, highlighting the significance of solo rallies.

I started publicly supporting Ukraine in March 2022, just a few days after Russia began its full-scale war. I joined rallies held in South Korea, and in June, I joined demonstrations in Japan.

Supporting Ukraine was an unequivocal choice for me. I know that Russia doesn’t change, so I realized I should support the Ukrainians. Until February 24, I knew little about this country, only heard something in the news. Now I know much more, as I have a desire to learn – mostly I get information from Instagram. Over time, this became enough to explain the information about the war to acquaintances, friends, and anyone interested.

After participating in large-scale events, Taras turned his activism into a permanent demonstration of support for Ukraine. He travels around South Korea and Japan dressed in attire adorned with the Ukrainian flag, organizes solitary rallies, and extensively covers everything on his social media. He also joined the Ukrainian community in Japan and the Association of Friendship Japan-Ukraine NGO Krayany.

Most citizens of Japan and South Korea support my actions. I started with no expectations but received significant support because everyone understands its importance.

Sometimes, I just walk the streets of cities in a T-shirt with Ukrainian symbols, a Ukrainian flag, etc. I meet people, tell them about Ukraine during short conversations. I also travel around Japan and South Korea with trips for the same purpose, to expand the geography of my activities.

I am convinced that this is effective because such advocacy is unobtrusive and easy to implement. It is especially important because the trend of mass actions is declining. My goal is to spread the truth about the war in Ukraine in small steps.

Russians won’t change because they’re not taught to. Love for one’s country either exists or doesn’t. If Russia wins, the future of East Asia will become uncertain. South Korea and Japan will be in danger. This is one of the reasons why it is necessary to support Ukraine. A war initiated by Russia is unnecessary and unprovoked; it takes lives. And it must stop.