Ukrainians come together for a day of solidarity in Boston


Photo: Harshad Jadhav

Ukrainians gathered to commemorate “The Heavenly Hundred” who died in the ongoing Russia-Ukrainian war in the East of Ukraine in Feb . 2014

Harshad Jadhav, Reporter


Holding placards of “support Ukraine,” hundreds of demonstrators gathered in abetment of Ukraine amid its tensions of war with Russia on Sunday.

Mostly expatriates from Ukraine, supporters came out for a vigil at the World War II Memorial in Back Bay Fens to commemorate “The Heavenly Hundred.” The Heavenly Hundred is marked yearly on Feb. 20 to honor the 107 people killed during the Revolution of Dignity (also called the Maidan Revolution) in Ukraine in Feb. 2014, during a series of pro-democracy protests and also to oust then-President Viktor Yanukovych, who was accused of being “pro-Russia.”

Back-to-back memorial services at Christ the King Ukrainian Catholic Church and St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Boston, both located in Jamaica Plain, started the day of memorial. A Ukrainian motorcade followed, beginning near the Christ the King Ukrainian Catholic Church and ending at the World War II Memorial. After reaching the memorial, advocates accumulated in front of the memorial with posters saying — “Hands off Ukraine,” “Stop Putin” and “Stop Nord Stream 2.”

“It doesn’t look good! It doesn’t look good,” Michael Larocca, a resident who lives close to the memorial, said when asked about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. “I hope it doesn’t go the wrong way.”

The event started with a speech by Anton Khlebas, organizer of the rally, who said, “Today we gather next to the World War [II] Memorial to commemorate The Heavenly Hundred. The heroes who gave their lives for liberty.”

Over the past several weeks, tensions have arisen between Russia and Ukraine. Though Russia repeatedly states it has no plans on attacking Ukraine, it is alleged that over 150,000 Russian troops are stationed at the borders of Ukraine. The U.S. has been monitoring the situation and has aligned troops throughout Europe to support Ukraine in case an attack happens.

On Friday, in a press conference in Washington, DC, President Biden said, “we have reason to believe the Russian forces are planning to and intend to attack Ukraine in the coming week, in the coming days. We believe that they will target Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, a city of 2.8 million innocent people.” Biden said he’s convinced that the Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to invade Ukraine.

If a war happens, “this is gonna become another one, an Afganisthan-type quagmire,” said Jorge Hernández, who came along with his wife Svetlana Ruzgon from Salem, Mass. Comparing the situation between Ukraine and Russia to the U.S. retrieval of troops from Afghanistan, according to Hernández, Russia trying to take control of Ukraine (territory-wise) is “even worse.” 


The Scope was there to captures some photos of the day:




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