On June 17-19, Ukrainian communities, their friends and supporters in most European capitals took to the streets to demonstrate their support for Ukraine’s European aspirations. Despite the abnormally high heat, hundreds of participants chanted slogans, supported speakers and spoke to the media about why the EU should accept Ukraine in European media comments.
In Lisbon, Portugal, this week, street rallies lasted three days in a row, starting on June 17. Demonstrations took place in the main square of Praça do Comércio, where everyone expressed their support for Ukraine and called on European politicians to say “yes” to Ukraine’s EU candidate status.
“The path to full membership in the European Union is a matter for generations to come, but it is impossible to deny Ukrainians hope for a European future. The prospect of EU membership alone can be a persuasive signal to Moscow: Ukraine is not a buffer zone and not in the Russian sphere of influence, but part of the European family,” wrote the organizers of the action, the Association of Ukrainians in Portugal.
In the French capital, the #EmbraceUkraine campaign for the European future of Ukraine took place despite the 40-degree heat on Saturday, June 18. The event gathered more than 150 participants and was addressed by Jean-Pierre Pasternak, Vice President of the Association of Ukrainians in France, François Bechieau, member of the Paris City Hall, and Dominique Sopo, President of SOS Racisme.
In Spain, a mass rally was held in Madrid in support of Ukraine as a candidate for membership in the European Community on Sunday. Ukrainian girls from the Chervona Kalyna dance group entertained participants and the media with their Chervona Kalyna dance.
“Today, Ukrainians in Madrid, together with Ukrainians in Europe, stated and supported the firm determination of the Ukrainian people to be together with the EU and the civilized world. Obtaining the status of an EU candidate country is important not only for the security of Ukraine and its prosperity, it is important for the unity of Europe and the restoration of lost Christian and European values. Much attention was also paid to the NATO summit in Madrid and Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations,” said Yuriy Chopyk, Head of the Ukrainian Community in Spain.
More than 30 Ukrainian musicians from Ukraine and different parts of Europe came to The Hague, Netherlands, on June 18 to perform at #UkrainianFreedomStage under the slogan #EmbraceUkraine and to remind everyone about the struggle for Ukraine’s European choice.
Photographer: Svyatoslav Finiv.
A powerful concert in support of Ukraine also took place in Budapest, Hungary, this Saturday. The head of the Ukrainian community in Hungary, Yaroslava Khortyani, shared a photo with Ukrainian singer Zlata Ognevych on social media.
“Oh, in the meadow red kalyna…” begins the Ukrainian folk song that swept through hot streets in Athens,Greece. Activist Ukrainians gathered for a street demonstration, the video of which was published on Facebook by the head of the Ukrainian Community in Greece, Halyna Maslyuk.