Torontonians rally in support of Ukraine


Hundreds of people marched through downtown Toronto in solidarity with Ukraine on Sunday afternoon.

The march was held to show support to Canada, the US and the intergovernmental military alliance NATO, who helped Ukraine fight Russia through sanctions, military aid and defense systems.

The rally was organized by the Toronto branch of the Ukranian Canadian Congress and focused on pushing NATO to implement a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

“We are asking for a no-fly zone to protect the millions of civilians that are in Ukraine,” said Nadia Prokopiw, media relations at the UCC.

“We had a great turnout,” Prokopiw said of the rally. Though cold, almost five thousand people showed up to support the calls for peace in Ukraine. They sang the Ukranian anthem and various Ukranian songs while marching towards the US Consulate.

People in the crowd could be seen wearing blue and yellow clothes, co-ordinating with Ukraine’s flag.

A Ukrainian supporter is emotional while listening to a young Ukrainian sing "Hallelujah" in front of the US Consulate on University Ave. to call for more action against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Two Ukrainian supporters embrace in front US Consulate on University Ave after supporters marched from the St. Vladimir Institute to call for more action against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

On Feb. 24, Russia launched a full-scale military invasion into Ukraine causing almost 2.7 million Ukrainians to flee the country and as of Thursday, United Nations reported that 549 civilians were killed out of which 26 were children.

“The Ukranian diaspora thanks our allies for everything they have done so far… but millions are still at risk,” the UCC said in a press release.

The Canadian government contributed $30 million to support immediate and ongoing relief efforts, allocated $50 million for humanitarian aid in the region like WHO, HelpAge, World Food Program and others. And invested an additional $117 million to those seeking refuge.

Since 1940, UCC has represented and advocated for the diaspora. They aim to be a proactive, national, united and self-sustaining body that provides a high standard of leadership for the community. According to their website, there are currently 1.3 million Canadians who identify as Ukrainian.

A Ukrainian supporter listens to speeches given in front US Consulate on University Ave after supporters marched from the St. Vladimir Institute to call for more action against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
A Ukrainian supporter listens to speeches given in front US Consulate on University Ave after supporters marched from the St. Vladimir Institute to call for more action against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Through #STANDWITHUKRAINE, UCC has previously participated in rallies and called on the Canadian government to provide Ukraine with defensive weapons.

“We got a call from somebody in Ukraine that’s on the ground. He was thanking us for all the rallies here,” Prokopiw explained. “They said it’s a huge morale booster.”

UCC has been highly active in voicing against the Russian invasion by educating people about the war, hosting webinars and encouraging people to sign petitions in favor of closing the skies in Ukraine.

With files from Ashleigh-Rae Thomas.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Conversations are opinions of our readers and are subject to the Code of Conduct. The Star does not endorse these opinions.



Leave a Comment