Why these demonstrators gathered in Richmond park: ‘Every day we lose our brothers and sisters’

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Posted at 9:37 PM, Feb 24, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-24 21:41:11-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Chants for unity rang out in Richmond’s Monroe Park Saturday morning as dozens of people pleaded for change two years after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

“Every day we lose our brothers and sisters who don’t have enough weapons to defend themselves,” shared one attendee.

Ukrainians of Virginia in Richmond organized the event to create space for people to share their stories of sorrow over losing loved ones and friends.

Organizers also wanted to create a space for strength for people who escaped the war zone and are now rebuilding their lives in Richmond.

“I am one of 300,000 Ukrainians who went to America for a new life. Me and my three children are thankful for America and the shelter and the help,” shared another attendee.

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The group is also calling on Congress to provide more aid to Ukraine.

Congress has approved more than $110 million in aid, according to the White House, but many feel Ukrainians are running low on military supplies to be able keep up the fight.

“It’s frustrating because we are not doing anything about it right now and we could do a lot more. We have never given Ukraine what it needs at a time it needs it or we wouldn’t be in this situation,” shared another attendee.

Sen. Mark Warner
Sen. Mark Warner

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner (D) came to show support at the event. Warner serves as the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and has been vocal in Congress pushing for Ukraine funding in the Senate. Earlier this month the Senate passed a foreign aid bill that included new funding for Ukraine. However the House has not taken the bill up.

“I can’t even believe we are having this discussion that two years in at this most critical point that some in America would walk away from that commitment," Warner said. "If that allows to pass this two year anniversary will be looked back upon as one of the darkest days not only in Ukraine’s history but our history as well."

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Coming together is the only thing some attending could do to come to terms with the reality of two years of war.

As they pray and plead for additional support to keep their loved ones in Ukraine safe.

“That’s what we are fighting for in Ukraine. We are fighting for freedom,” shared another attendee.

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