Lydygina was crying, watching the news and trying to contact her loved ones who remained in Ukraine. She said it was a stark contrast to what you see in New York. She told CNN that on Saturday she saw people sitting and eating in restaurants who “didn’t think war could reach their homes.”
But she said the peace is fragile.
“I think the whole world now needs to come together,” Lydigina said, adding, “Now is the time to say no and stop one person who fears the whole world.”
“Every Ukrainian should keep one thing in mind: If you can stop and destroy the occupiers – do it,” Zelensky said in a video message on Saturday. “Whoever can return to Ukraine – come back to defend Ukraine.”
But some Ukrainian supporters, such as Merrick Brown, whose ancestors came from Ukraine to the United States, believe there is more to be done.
“I think the United States and NATO should provide military assistance to Ukraine,” Brown, who also attended the Times Square rally, told CNN. He described the demonstration as peaceful and “more pro-Ukrainian than anti-Russian.”
‘Pray for Ukraine’
In downtown Atlanta, dozens of people gathered for a “Stand with Ukraine” rally. Some of those present wore blue and yellow, the colors of the Ukrainian flag, while others carried banners reading “Pray for Ukraine” and “Ukrainians unite!” They sing the Ukrainian national anthem.
“It was hard to believe,” Kelpa told WGCL. “It was a new reality.”
Joshua Hill, an attendee in Atlanta, has no personal contact with Ukraine, but told CNN via Twitter that he joined because “Ukraine needs the world’s support.”
“Our leaders are not doing enough,” Hill said. “I’m here to show support for further action by the US government, NATO and all of Ukraine’s allies.”
I just wanted to show my support and solidarity
In Washington, D.C., another crowd demonstrated in front of the White House.
Many of the attendees waved Ukrainian flags or had them draped over their shoulders, chanting “Stop Putin now.”
One protester, JB Wheeler, told CNN he was “just an interested citizen” and had no personal ties to Ukraine. “No family or friends, just human contact and a desire to support the Ukrainians and their struggle,” Wheeler said.
A few miles from the gathering outside the White House, Georgetown University graduate student Eleanor Shiuri Hughes left flowers on the steps of Ukraine’s embassy, where a sign read “Long live a free Ukraine.”
She also had no contact with Ukraine.
“I just wanted to show my support and solidarity to the Ukrainian people,” Hughes said.
“We know that freedom, democracy and independence are a light to the world,” Colorado Governor Jared Polis said in a statement.
“We are proud to fling the colors of the Ukrainian flag across our state capitol as we continue to support and pray for the brave Ukrainian people during this dark time,” he said.
‘The world needs to move’
Similar demonstrations took place in a number of cities on Friday.
“Penalties are not enough,” he wrote on one of the banners, per WTVF per shot. Another: “The world needs to act now.”
Attendee Alyssa Kaiser told the station that most of the protesters may have had family in Ukraine. “They’re glad we weren’t there, because we’re safe here,” she said. “But all you want is to be with them to support them.”
She added, “We need to make sure this doesn’t go further than it already is… It has gone too far.”
“It is heartbreaking to see my country being invaded,” Voloshinra told WRTV.
Anatoly Mashak told the station that the situation in Ukraine was “unpredictable”.
“They are under siege now,” he said.
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