Calgarians rally for Ukraine amid escalating tensions with Russia
About 30 people with signs in hand rallied in support of Ukraine at the Peace Bridge in Calgary on Saturday.
The group was concerned about escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia, after the Russian navy fired on three Ukrainian ships it said had entered its waters off Crimea.
In response, Ukraine declared martial law at the end of November.
Inna Platonova organized Stop Russian Aggression – No War in Ukraine Rally with the Calgary branch of Ukrainian Canadian Congress to show support for people an ocean away. She made it clear that they were protesting the Russian government — not the Russian people.
“We want people in Ukraine to know that they’re not forgotten,” she said. “We want to inform the public here in Canada and the West that there is an ongoing war in Ukraine entering now its fifth year. It’s Russian aggression against Ukraine which resulted in 10,000 dead people.”
As the death toll rose, many were injured, displaced or imprisoned.
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“I think they’re in a lot of pain, they’re grieving the loss of their loved ones and they want to see the war to stop,” Platonova said. “They don’t want to see more people die.”
Protester Ganna Zakharova fled Crimea after annexation and now lives in Calgary.
“I’m concerned for Ukraine knowing I have observed how the occupation was taking place in Crimea in 2014 and how Russian forces were blocking Ukrainian military units,” she said.
“The conflict is big, it is important and it needs to be dealt with,” Zakharova added. “It is not a conflict of interest. It’s aggression, it’s an invasion.”
“The more we try to be independent and create our own country that is prosperous and not dependent on Russia, the more they try to grab Ukraine.
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