Solidarity rally for Ukraine in Vancouver amid Russian invasion
Posted February 26, 2022 10:39 am.
Last Updated February 26, 2022 9:02 pm.
There’s was no shortage of support for Ukraine in Vancouver Saturday as Ukrainian Canadians and allies vocalized their cries for peace as the Russia-Ukraine crisis escalates.
Hundreds of locals — many of whom were decked in yellow and blue in solidarity with Ukraine — gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery in the afternoon.
Ukraine declared a state of emergency Wednesday as Russian troops moved in on the nation.
The rally Saturday aims to “support a violence-free future of our planet with no room for war.”
The “Stand with Ukraine anti-war rally” Facebook page added, “It is our duty as people of this city to show support and stand in a united front against Russian invasion and annexation of a sovereign state.”
Canada has the largest Ukrainian population in the world outside of Russia and Ukraine and thousands across the country this week have rallied in an effort to show solidarity with families and friends.
— CityNews Vancouver (@CityNewsVAN) February 25, 2022
On Saturday, demonstrators chanted for Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to stop this invasion.
Ukrainian-born Katarina told CityNews the people of Ukraine have only ever wanted to live their life.
“I’m crying all day and night. We don’t want war. Ukraine never wanted war. Ukraine was all the time supporting freedom of every nation here … We just want our rights to stand for us and we don’t want innocent people to be killed,” she said.
Some visuals from the rally. pic.twitter.com/J0qDhG6LqY
— Michael Williams (@MikeWillsTake) February 26, 2022
Daniel was another participant from Ukraine who expressed fear over what’s happening in his homeland, adding he’s grateful for the Canadian support so far.
“We really appreciate everything the Canadian government does … we really appreciate the help they do. But if they can do something more, we would ask to do more,” he said.
“We have to stand all together all across the world.”
Earlier this week, rallies were held across Canada as members of the Ukrainian community gathered to denounce the Russian invasion. At the Art Gallery, attendees even sang the Ukrainian national anthem.
Ukrainian law now prevents men aged 18 to 60 from leaving the country, as they could be conscripted to fight.
The country under attack began calling up reservists and sending them to assist the military troops after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy imposed martial law on the country.
Canada has promised to prioritize immigration applications from Ukraine to bring people fleeing the country to safety as quickly as possible.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also announced the creation of a new hotline Thursday, “for anyone at home or abroad with urgent Ukraine-related immigration questions.”
A number of organizations have launched dedicated fundraisers to help with humanitarian relief as many Canadians look for ways to help.