Thousands rallied outside the White House in support of Ukraine

“We want people to come together and come to the defense and the aid of the Ukrainian people, because this is a fight that's even bigger than Ukraine,” one of the ralliers said.

People rallying outside the White House in support of Ukraine, February 27, 2022. (photo credit: OMRI NAHMIAS)
People rallying outside the White House in support of Ukraine, February 27, 2022.
(photo credit: OMRI NAHMIAS)

WASHINGTON – Thousands of people rallied outside the White House on Sunday in support of Ukraine and in a call to stop the war. Many of the attendees were members of the Ukrainian-American community who arrived from Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland, among other places.

Andrea Shypailo from Jersey City, New Jersey, arrived in Washington to meet her sister Diana, who lives in the nation’s capital, and to participate with her in the rally.

“We are second-generation Ukrainian Americans,” said Diana, who held a sign that called to “pray for Ukraine.” “We are here today to honor our family who is still in Ukraine, who is trying to flee the country and are fighting for their sovereignty.”

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Andrea said: “We want people to come together and come to the defense and the aid of Ukrainian people, because this is a fight that’s even bigger than Ukraine. The sooner that we can come together for our Ukrainian brothers and sisters, then we can protect the sovereignty of the rest of the Western nations and the West as we know it.

People rallying in Washington, D.C. in support of Ukraine, February 27, 2022. (credit: OMRI NAHMIAS)People rallying in Washington, D.C. in support of Ukraine, February 27, 2022. (credit: OMRI NAHMIAS)

“I certainly wish and hope that there will be tougher sanctions, more support from the UN, from NATO, and from the United States in particular.”

“I think that the United States and NATO as a whole should show a little bit more strength, even in defensive measures,” she said. “I’m not saying that we need to offensively provoke a war with Russia, but even some defensive measures [should be] put in place so that the Ukrainian people are not left on their own to defend themselves.”

“We have friends and family in Ukraine that have been without water, without heat, without power, who are trying to make it to the Polish border for safety,” Andrea said. “And the fact of the matter is that as I go to bed tonight, I’ll be comfy cozy. I’ll have a chance to take a shower. I’ll have a chance to charge my phone, and I’m going to be safe and protected.”

The responsibility of the Ukrainian-American community is to stand in solidarity with Ukraine, she said.

Natalia Stashenko arrived in Washington on a flight from Chicago with a group of friends.

“We are [originally] from the west side [of Ukraine], so that was technically considered safer, but it’s not safe,” she said. “Our friends and family are hiding in basements every single day. They suffer attacks every single day. So this is probably the least we can do to show our support and demand that the US government do something for us.”

Pavlo Casian, who arrived from Chicago, said: “I feel like the US has definitely done a good amount, but they could do a lot more, and that’s why we’re here, and we’re trying to have the White House and its officials hear our voice and change things.”

Maria, a Philadelphia resident who was born in Lviv, arrived at the rally with her spouse, Ivan.

“Our main message is that we want NATO to protect the sky,” she said. “This is the least we can do from here. We are donating; we’re doing so much from here to protect them, but we are not physically with them.”

 People rallying in Washington, D.C. in support of Ukraine, February 27, 2022. (credit: OMRI NAHMIAS) People rallying in Washington, D.C. in support of Ukraine, February 27, 2022. (credit: OMRI NAHMIAS)