TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Hundreds gathered Sunday at Jácome Plaza in downtown Tucson for a rally to support Ukraine as the country faces an increasingly violent Russian invasion.
Most in the crowd in Tucson Brough blue and yellow signs and flags to show their support for Ukraine. Others carried anti-Vladimir Putin signs.
The Ukrainian American Society of Tucson organized the event, after a similar rally in Phoenix the previous weekend.
“We’re here, we’re all here, doesn’t matter if you’re Ukrainian or not,” said Ukrainian American Society of Tucson president Igor Borisevich. “We’re all here for peace. We’re here for a democratic, prosperous Ukraine.”
Some members of the crowd still have family members trapped in the war-torn country.
“My mom and my uncle was in Kyiv all that time. They escaped the city just yesterday. They barely could made it,” said Olia Birkner, adding that rallies like the one in Tucson give her loved ones hope.
“I send a picture of every protest here in Arizona to my family and my friends. They respond immediately. They are just really happy that the world hear them. The world is support Ukraine, and that matters. Really, that matters a lot.”
Many in the crowd pushed the U.S. to do more to help Ukraine. Several demand a ‘No Fly Zone’ being enforced over the country to counter Russian military planes.
Some urged the U.S. to completely divest from Russian oil and natural gas.
Other say rallies and calls for peace here in the U.S. need to be bigger and louder.
“I think anybody and everybody need to stand up right now and do something,” Tucson resident Yelena Shut said. “You need to understand: We have 63 million Ukrainians living all over the world. And this is what we need to do: We stand up and demand something.”
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