Tucson, Arizona — Maximilian Roter, Texas, 12, embraced the Ukrainian blue and yellow flags as if they were their own country’s flag.
It was the flag of his family’s heritage in a very personal sense, as some close relatives came from Ukraine.
“My mother was from Ukraine. My uncle and aunt are also from Ukraine.
Lautea said it was “sad” that people in that remote land were suffering and dying. That’s why he came hundreds of miles to attend the rally.
Sponsored by the Ukrainian Americans Association of Tucson, the rally called for unity between the two countries, a “Russian invasion” and the occupation of the Crimean Peninsula, and the end of other parts of eastern Ukraine.
The protest also demanded “release of all Ukrainian citizens unjustly imprisoned by Russia.”
Many protesters who attended the rally shook the flags of the United States and Ukraine and raised the sign, shouting slogans such as “Russia is from Ukraine” and “Ukraine is important”.
There were also calls for the assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ukrainian-born Diana Baby said she was traveling abroad when the fighting in eastern Ukraine began on February 24.
She now sees the national conflict in Ukraine as a global battle against tyranny.
“We can’t get used to the world [the invasion].. We must keep screaming from every corner, “Baby said when she spoke to a large crowd through a loudspeaker.
“I’m doing everything I can to help here in the state,” Baby told the Epoch Times while in Arizona.
At 1:00 pm, the rally began with American and Ukrainian national anthems and passionate speeches by the organizers and protesters.
“I think this is a battle for democracy,” said Angela D’Onofrio of Tucson, holding a blue and yellow sign that says “no war.”
“I can’t believe this is happening,” she said of the Russian invasion.
“I think we need to help Ukrainians,” Democrat D’Onofrio told The Epoch Times in the form of oil sanctions against Russia. “And we need to stop [Putin’s] Republican sympathizer. “
“Stop Putin in his footsteps!” Martha Tochi shouted with a loudspeaker, urging the West to “continue to put pressure” on Russia to stop the war.
“The world no longer puts up with bullies and terrorists in our world,” said Tochi, a family who emigrated from Ukraine after World War II. “Then come to Ukraine when Ukraine is free,” she said.
Tochi said the Russian invasion was just as painful, as the wounds of World War II are still “fresh” in the minds of many Ukrainians.
During the rally, an opposition activist began screaming that both President Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky were serving the globalist organization World Economic Forum. The man said the United States should not go to war for the benefit of “globalists” before the rally organizers take him away.
Among the rally protesters were Charlie Masters, a resident of the Phoenix area, and his wife, Alina. They also have a house in Kyiv.
Ukrainian-born Alina addressed Putin’s story of using nuclear weapons in the event of a Western attack, tearing “I hope he doesn’t do this” and addressing the rally against the war. ..
The Masters said his wife was fortunate enough to escape Ukraine when hostilities broke out in late February. He said Alina then returned safely to the United States after spending a few days with friends in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, and Switzerland.
“She didn’t know what was going on” when the Russians invaded. “She packed her backpack and left,” the Masters told The Epoch Times.
Veronica Williams, a Russian-born instructor / event and recruitment organizer at the University of Arizona’s Faculty of Russian Slavic Studies, expressed her “hope for peace” at a rally on Sunday.
“I’m Russian. I don’t know if I’ll be back in Russia anymore,” she told the crowd in tears.
Her colleague Dr. Colleen Lucy also spoke in protest and read the poem of the Ukrainian poet Shevchenko. Many graduate students and other university professors attended the rally.
Other protesters at the rally called for multinational intervention in Ukraine and strict sanctions against Russia, but Tucson’s Don Haynes said “there is always a spiritual solution” to the crisis.
“It may not always fit the mundane solution — maybe at the individual level. [to] Please help us get over everything, “Haines told the Epoch Times.