UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — Hundreds of people rallied in Ukrainian Village Thursday to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and call for a more robust response from Western governments against the ongoing Russian invasion.
Holding Ukrainian flags and signs that said “Stop Putin” and “Stop War,” protesters chanted “USA supports Ukraine” and sang songs in Ukrainian.
Priests from Saints Volodymyr and Olha and St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic churches, two longtime community anchors in the neighborhood , led the crowd in prayer and song.
Russian forces began invading Ukraine early Thursday, according to news reports. Russian troops were closing in on Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, by Thursday evening, according to the New York Times.
Chicago has one of the highest populations of Ukrainians in the U.S., with 100,000 living in the city and suburbs, and around 10,000 in Ukrainian Village, according to NPR.
Organizers of Thursday’s rally pressed for tougher sanctions on Russia, and encouraged people to contribute to humanitarian efforts for Ukraine citizens.
“Unleash the sanctions. Stop the war. Stop Russia’s economy today. There must be action by the United Nations. They must stop this Russian aggression. Remove Russia from the Security Council of United Nations,” said Pavlo Bandriwsky, vice president of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America Illinois Division.
“We need to have peace in Ukraine, and it can only happen with support from the West and from the United…