Hundreds rally in Downtown Pittsburgh to support Ukraine | Pittsburgh City Paper

Hundreds rally in Downtown Pittsburgh to support Ukraine

click to enlarge Hundreds rally in Downtown Pittsburgh to support Ukraine
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
People gather in Liberty Avenue Park in Downtown Pittsburgh for a “For Ukraine Rally” on Feb. 27, 2022.
Hundreds of people gathered in Downtown Pittsburgh at Liberty Avenue Park on  Sun., Feb. 27 for a rally in solidarity with the Ukraine as the country faces an invasion from Russia. Participants at the demonstration, organized by the Ukrainian American Youth of Southwestern Pennsylvania, sang the Ukrainian National anthems, yelled chants, and prayed. People held flags and signs that read “Stop War,” “Stop Putin,” “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Heroes!”, and more. The rally went from 4-6 p.m., but many stayed after to talk and share stories.
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CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
Christopher went to the Ukraine in 2018 for study abroad through the University of Pittsburgh where he met his boyfriend, who he was just recently living with in Kyiv, Ukraine. “They kept telling us to leave. I didn’t think anything was going to happen, but I decided to leave anyways.” A week before the invasion started, Christopher left the Ukraine, but his boyfriend is still there. “He’s 32, so he can’t leave under Marshall Law.” For now, Christopher’s boyfriend remains far from the fighting in Lviv.
click to enlarge Hundreds rally in Downtown Pittsburgh to support Ukraine (3)
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
People gather in Liberty Avenue Park in Downtown Pittsburgh for a “For Ukraine Rally” on Feb. 27, 2022.
click to enlarge Hundreds rally in Downtown Pittsburgh to support Ukraine (4)
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
Olena and her husband have been in the states for a year. The day of the rally in Pittsburgh, Olena says her family spent the whole day in the Ukraine in the basement while sirens went off in the city.
click to enlarge Hundreds rally in Downtown Pittsburgh to support Ukraine (5)
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
People gather in Liberty Avenue Park in Downtown Pittsburgh for a “For Ukraine Rally” on Feb. 27, 2022.
click to enlarge Hundreds rally in Downtown Pittsburgh to support Ukraine (6)
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
”We want tougher sanctions from the U.S. and from the European Union on Russia to stop this war. There are civilians right now dying from this war,” says Vasyl, who is from the western part of the Ukraine, when asked about the purpose of the rally.
click to enlarge Hundreds rally in Downtown Pittsburgh to support Ukraine (7)
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
People gather in Liberty Avenue Park in Downtown Pittsburgh for a “For Ukraine Rally” on Feb. 27, 2022.
click to enlarge Hundreds rally in Downtown Pittsburgh to support Ukraine (8)
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
In 2009, Lara Galis became a godparent to a girl in Ukraine at an orphanage for people with physical and mental disabilities after watching her get baptized. “The hardest thing for me right now is, being that she is nonverbal, physically disabled, in an orphanage, she obviously doesn’t have parents. So that means that means whenever they hear the shelling and the bombing, there is no one to say, ‘It’s OK, everything will be fine.’” Laura tears up and explains how the ability to see her goddaughter has depended on the Ukrainian Orthodox church in the U.S.'s ability to go on mission trips to the Ukraine. “So, I may never see her again,” Laura says.
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CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
Lara Galis displays the last picture she received in August of her goddaughter in the Ukraine.
click to enlarge Hundreds rally in Downtown Pittsburgh to support Ukraine (10)
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
People gather in Liberty Avenue Park in Downtown Pittsburgh for a “For Ukraine Rally” on Feb. 27, 2022.
click to enlarge Hundreds rally in Downtown Pittsburgh to support Ukraine (11)
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
A Ukrainian school teacher talks about her family’s experience immigrating to America, the family they still have in Ukraine, and the Ukrainian school in Pittsburgh. “I give this flag to each children in the school for protection and so they never going to see the war. It's not supposed to happen.”