A march seeking to “stop bloodshed” in Ukraine is planned for 2 pm today on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica one day after similar demonstrations in West Los Angeles, Hollywood and Studio City.
The march is organized by the Ukrainian Culture Center Los Angeles, which is demanding that the Biden administration support closure of the airspace over Ukraine, immediately provide military aid to Ukraine — especially air defense systems and heavy weaponry — as well as financial and humanitarian aid, immediately enact “hellish sanctions on Russia” and “isolate Russia in all possible formats on the world stage.”
A Pentagon spokesman announced Saturday that President Joe Biden has committed an additional $350 million in military assistance to Ukraine, including anti-armor munitions, small arms and other equipment to help the former Soviet republic defend itself.
Chanting and holding signs in solidarity with Ukraine, many protesters in Santa Monica Friday were originally from the recently-invaded nation and still have immediate family overseas. Anoushah Rasta reports Feb. 25, 2022.
On Saturday, pro-Ukraine demonstrations in the Los Angeles area drew hundreds showing their support and demanding that Biden do more to assist the defeated country.
“Today We Are All Ukrainians,” read a sign held by a demonstrator Saturday at Santa Monica and Sepulveda boulevards in West Los Angeles, where Sen. Dianne Feinstein was in office. Other signs read: “Stop Russian Imperialism,” “Russia Go Home” and “Hands Off! Russia Take a Seat! End This Tyranny!”
Feinstein, D-California, issued a statement Thursday saying “it is incumbent on all nations to ensure that Putin and his government are met with severe consequences. Putin must understand that such aggression will not stand.”
Similar protests were held along Hollywood Boulevard and at Laurel Canyon and Ventura boulevards in Studio City.
Overnight, Los Angeles City Hall was illuminated in blue and yellow, the colors of the Ukraine flag, a show of solidarity that has been repeated at numerous landmarks worldwide.
Many of those protesting Saturday told reporters that Ukraine was their homeland and expressed concern for friends and relatives still living there.
In cities across the US and the world people gathered to show support for Ukraine. Vikki Vargas reports for the NBC4 News at 6 pm on Feb. 26, 2022.
Slava Rudavska has only known an independent Ukraine in her lifetime, she told NBC4 on Saturday during the rally in West Los Angeles. She was three years old when the country declared it was no longer part of the Soviet Union, and she immigrated to the United States three years ago.
Her sister, mother and nephew live in Kyiv.
“They are not going to give up,” Rudavska said of her family in Ukraine. “She said, we are going to save our country, or we’re going to die here.”
Rudavska’s sister sends her pin drops from Ukraine, she said, telling Rudavska exactly where her loved one is. As long as those pin drops keep arriving, she knows they’re safe.
Meanwhile, Archbishop José Gomez of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles condemned the invasion Sunday in a letter shared with the Catholic Ukrainian faithful.
“My heart is with all of you in this time of sorrow and uncertainty. With our Holy Father Pope Francis, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, and Metropolitan Gudziak, I deplore the Russian invasion of your homeland of Ukraine. Please know that your Roman Catholic brothers and sisters in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will always be near to you in solidarity and prayer,” Gomez wrote.
“We are praying for a swift end to the evil of this war. We ask Jesus Christ, the Lord of Peace, to touch the hearts of the aggressors, and move them to conversion. We also call on those in authority to seek a just peace that recognizes the dignity and sovereignty of the Ukrainian people.”
Gomez concluded his message by reiterating Pope Francis’ call to pray and fast for peace during the season of Lent that begins this week on Ash Wednesday.
The letter was read at the 10 am Mass at Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church by Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.