The Ukrainian flag flew above decrease Manhattan to mark the first anniversary of the continued warfare with Russia earlier than protesters gathered Friday exterior the United Nations in a present of help for the battered nation.
Dozens of attendees joined in a morning second of silence at Bowling Inexperienced for these killed within the year-long battle, with Ukraine Consul Basic Oleksii Holubov reciting the grim particulars of the final 12 months.
“Three-hundred-sixty-five days of days of terror,” Holubov mentioned. “Fourteen million Ukrainians pressured to flee their houses …. one year of prayer. As President [Volodymyr] Zelensky acknowledged earlier right this moment, it was a 12 months of resilience. A 12 months of care. A 12 months of bravery.”
He was joined by an official from Mayor Adams’ workplace and plenty of Ukrainians now dwelling in New York, with many attendees dressed within the blue and yellow colours of their nationwide flag as they sang their homeland’s national anthem.
“One 12 months in the past the world watched in shock as Russia launched an unprovoked attack on Ukraine,” mentioned Edward Mermelstein, the mayor’s commissioner of overseas affairs. “Town of New York stands with the individuals of Ukraine and their wrestle for independence.”
About 100 protesters assembled later in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza exterior the United Nations, chanting “Disgrace! Disgrace!” and “Glory to the nation!”
“We’re demanding and calling upon the United Nations Basic Meeting to create a global warfare crimes tribunal,” mentioned Paul Grod, president of the Ukrainian World Congress.
The gang included a pair of Ukrainian-American sisters with prolonged household nonetheless within the metropolis of Lviv.
“I used to be emailing with them a few weeks in the past, they usually mentioned they’re rationing electrical energy,” mentioned Julianna Walchuk, 25, of the Higher West Aspect of Manhattan. “They’re having ups and downs … however there’s fixed worry of what’s to return.”
The Ukrainian Institute of America displayed an set up of 500 hand-painted Easter eggs, often known as pysanka, as a logo of hope on the Higher East Aspect of Manhattan.
“Legend says that so long as persons are creating these eggs, the world will live on,” mentioned artist and curator Sofika Zielyk. “The warfare broke out and I simply wanted to do one thing.”
The primary-generation American, born to Ukrainian refugees who got here to the U.S., plans to take the eggs to Ukraine as soon as the warfare is over.
“We’ll put as many eggs as we are able to on the mounds or burial locations of kids who died throughout the warfare,” she mentioned.
Amongst these on the flag-raising was Ukrainian-born Lana Draginda, 50, a personal caregiver from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn who held an indication studying “1 12 months of Conflict, 1 12 months of Nightmare.”
“Heartbreaking. It’s the worst it might be,” she mentioned. “I do know Ukraine will win and I hope will probably be as quickly as potential. I want all people peace.”
Ian Livadnyi, 40, of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn echoed these sentiments.
“It’s horrible, unfair warfare,” mentioned Livadnyi, born in Kazakhstan and a one-time resident of Russia. “I help Ukraine. Putin’s gang must be put down.”
Holubov recited a litany of horrors from the final 12 months: 5.9 million displaced Ukrainians, 10,000 drone assaults, 760 hospitals and greater than 3,000 colleges bombed. And Andrij Dobriansky of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America bemoaned the human toll of the final 12 months.
“We honor those that we now have misplaced … All these souls needlessly misplaced,” he mentioned.
Congressman Daniel Goldman (D-N.Y.) known as for continued U.S. help of Ukraine in its battle for independence.
“There are rising whispers on the acute proper of our politics, that we Individuals ought to retrench ourselves from engagement with Ukraine and the world, that we should always put an finish to our help of Ukraine and that possibly we should in some way select between America and Ukraine,” he mentioned.
“That may be a harmful mind-set.”