‘Stand With Ukraine’ rally held outside UN Security Council meeting – CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBS New York) — A solidarity rally was held outside the United Nations on Thursday in a peaceful demonstration of support for the Ukrainian people.

The Biden administration has said “evidence on the ground” shows Russia is “heading for an imminent invasion.”

READ MORE: Russia pulls troops from Ukrainian border

The “Stand With Ukraine” rally coincided with a scheduled meeting of the UN Security Council, where the situation in Ukraine was to be discussed.

The group of around 200 people included Ukrainians and others with family there. They waved flags, carried posters and raised their voices in prayer, chanting and chanting, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported.

“I simply cannot sit idly by and watch my ancestral homeland be devoured over and over again,” said Sofika Zielyk.

“Ukraine is not Russia. Ukraine has its own desires and wants to be an independent country and I just hope Americans can see that,” said Iryna Hrubiy.

Sasha Boyko recently returned from Ukraine and is in constant contact with her family there.

“I was there from December 29 to January 22,” Boyko said. “It’s scary, but people have to go on with life as normal, so they’re trying to stay as calm as possible.”

READ MORE: Local Ukrainians fear Russian invasion, but say their homeland won’t back down from a fight

Ola Rondiak lives in Ukraine, but came to New York for an art exhibition. She was about to return home, but delays her return trip.

“It is the story of the life of Ukraine and in particular of the last eight years since Russia illegally invaded and annexed Crimea. So we live with this fear in Ukraine,” Rondiak said.

Rondiak shared a photo of his family from 2014, during “The Dignity Revolution”. Much of his work is inspired by freedom.

“Most people don’t run away unless they have to, they are there, they fight if they have to,” another person told the rally.

Others said the same of their family there.

“They’re ready. They’re preparing, they’re preparing emotionally and militarily. But they want to keep a calm atmosphere so people aren’t scared, and there’s an economic stranglehold,” Irene Sawchyn said.

“They say they pray, they hope nothing will happen, but it’s scary, and they really have nowhere to go. They’re not going to run. They will stay and fight,” said Anya Farion.

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A larger rally is scheduled for Sunday in Washington, D.C. Many New York rally attendees said they plan to attend.

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