Boston Rallies in Solidarity

In Boston, on the Boston Common, hundreds of people gathered to express their support for Ukraine on the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of the country. The event, organized by the Ukrainian Cultural Center of New England, highlighted the consequences of the conflict, including thousands killed and millions of displaced people, a significant portion of whom have found refuge in New England.
Oksana Chapman, rabbi and cantor at the Temple Emmanuel of Chelsea, addressed the crowd with the question, “Two years later, what do we have?” She emphasized the extent of destruction and called for the world to hear their plea for help. Numerous blue-and-yellow flags fluttered in the wind, and participants held placards calling for the return of kidnapped children and stating Crimea’s belonging to Ukraine.
Valeriia Vovk, who grew up in Odessa and moved to Boston to study at the Berklee College of Music, stressed the importance of the demonstration as a reminder that “we still very much need help.” Father Yaroslav Nalysnyk from the Christ the King Ukrainian Catholic Church in Jamaica Plain led a prayer for Ukraine’s swift victory, referring to Russia as an “evil empire” and a “Moscow barbarian horde.”
The rally discussed the need for additional aid from the United States in Ukraine’s fight against Russia. Assistance worth $60 billion is stalled in Congress due to political differences. The Senate has passed an aid package, but House Speaker Mike Johnson has yet to present a plan for its passage in the House.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky earlier mentioned the difficulties on the front line due to delays in weapon deliveries from Western allies. Congressman Stephen Lynch, a Democrat from South Boston, expressed hope that his GOP colleagues would “wake up to what’s happening to Ukraine.”
Statements of solidarity from various politicians, including Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, as well as Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, were read aloud to the crowd.

Boston Common

These events underscore the global significance of the conflict in Ukraine, the role of the international community in providing support, and the personal stories of those directly affected by the conflict, many of whom are now part of the Boston community.