Ukrainian-Calgarians march for defenders of Mariupol

Nearly 100 Ukrainian members of Calgary’s community marched in protest calling for the release of Azovstal Iron and steel workers, defending Mariupol from Russian attacks.

After months of fighting that began when Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February, citizens are calling for an end to the war and safe return of their loved ones.

“Our parents, our friends, our boyfriends, and our husbands are still there,” said organizer Serafima Serafi.

“For us, it’s extremely difficult to overcome it by ourselves.”

Serafi is a Ukrainian student who arrived in Calgary three months ago. She says she does not want people to become too complacent about the war.

“We are motivating people to not be silent, to remember that the war is still going on and we shouldn’t get used to it,” she said.

The peaceful rally began at St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Orthodox Sobor, before attendees marched in unison, some with their hands tied together, depicting what it feels like to be a prisoner.

Hennadii Bondanko flew from Denmark to Calgary just four days ago. He says his brother’s presence of him in the city enticed him to come to Canada.

“His view was it’s a very big community and as I said before its a very big community and everybody helps each other,” said Bondanko.

The Russian invasion began February 24. Millions of Ukrainians have fled the country since that time.

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