Hundreds gather Sunday in support of Ukraine at Boston Common


Photo: Lex Weaver

The student-led rally on Sunday saw hundreds of people from all over New England turn out in support for Ukrainians on Sunday, Feb. 27th.

Alexa Grayson, Reporter

Hundreds of people showed up at Boston Common and then marched down Newbury and Boylston Streets on Sunday in an act of solidarity for Ukrainian citizens and condemning Russia’s recent unprovoked invasion into the country.

Chants such as “Hands off Ukraine,” “Glory to Ukraine” and “No war, no more” echoed through the streets. The rally, which began at the 9/11 Memorial at the Boston Public Garden, was among many others worldwide that took place over the weekend.

Diana Zlotnikova organized the event, a fourth-year Ukrainian student at Northeastern University, who reached out to various student committees at different universities in Boston to bring together the community and “to show support to our friends and families who are still in Ukraine,” Zlotnikova told

“Ukraine is not just a country; Ukraine is a symbol of freedom,” said one of the speakers yesterday at the rally for peace. “Let us unite against Russia, against violence and fear… let us be brave.” 

Roksolana, a Ukrainian in Boston who asked to be identified only by her first name for privacy reasons, came to support her family in Ukraine and create awareness. 

“My family is in Ukraine. My parents are there hiding in the cellar. My brother went to the local militia; I worry about them a lot. I’m here to support them,” Roksolana said. “Right now, Ukraine needs the world’s help. We are here to raise awareness. Hopefully, politicians, business leaders, government people understand that we need support.”

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, many Ukrainians have been in hiding, using underground subway stations as bomb shelters. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, over 368,000 Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries

Alexandra Utiralva, originally from Russia, came to yesterday’s packed rally because she wants the war to stop.

“I’m terrified. I don’t want this. I am terrified for my Ukrainian friends. I don’t want this war. I want this to stop, and I don’t know what else I can do,” said Utiralva. “I can’t sit still. I couldn’t sleep last night. It’s a terror for me, my friends and my family in Russia. Nobody wants this, and the Russian people don’t want this war and want it to stop. 

Another person attending yesterday’s event, Alex Kalinin, also from Russia, expressed the importance of coming out and protesting if one has the privilege to safely and freely do so. 

“[It’s important to come out and protest today] because it is a unique opportunity to express our opinion on the events … Ukraine that people that are there or in Russia do not have,” Kalinin said. “There are funds you can donate directly to [Ukrainian] military resistance and citizens. Also showing up, speaking up, sharing that information on the internet, showing that people from all countries support Ukraine is so important.” 

Arin Gökdemir, an anthropology and film student at Boston University, stressed the importance of donating to countries bordering Ukraine as they are providing aid to Ukrainian refugees. 

“Donate to the countries that are bordering Ukraine in their aid fight to help adopt families, take them in, and give them food, housing, shelter,” said Gökdemir. “You can donate directly to the armed forces of Ukraine.” 

Countries bordering Ukraine that are accepting Ukrainian refugees include Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Moldova. Al Jazeera reports that Poland has expressed “steadfast support for Ukraine” and has received the most significant influx of refugees. 

Several countries around the world are showing support for Ukraine. On Friday, Ireland announced that it would immediately lift visa requirements for Ukrainians. In addition, several countries are supporting Ukraine by supplying Ukraine with weapons, medical supplies and other forms of military aid, according to Sky News. 

The Ukrainian Institute in London gave a list of reputable organizations to donate to, including With Ukraine, Save Life, Global Givings Ukraine Crisis Relief FundUnited Help Ukraine, National Bank of Ukraine Armed Forces Fund and Razom for Ukraine, amongst many more. 

“The people of Ukraine have shown so much bravery this early into the fight,” said Gökdemir. “It only makes sense for us as a community to show up and support.” 



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