Demonstrations held to denounce Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Demonstrators at Senator Feinstein's office in Santa Monica call for support of Ukraine during conflict with Russia. Photo by Samantha Bravo/TMT.

SANTA MONICA — On the night of Feb. 24, Russia launched an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, sending thousands of Russian troops into dozens of Ukrainian cities with the apparent aim of capturing Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. The fight between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian militias has been happening since 2014.

Rallies across the United States and in Los Angeles were held over the weekend of Feb. 26-27 to denounce the invasion. Ukrainian Americans and supporters of Ukraine expressed fear and concern for friends and family in the war-torn country. Demonstrations have been shared on social media, asking the community for support and requesting financial and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. 

On Saturday, Feb. 26, hundreds of participants gathered in front of Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office in Santa Monica, chanting ‘Stop the war’ while waving the national flag of Ukraine. 

Ukrainian and Orange County resident Mykhailo, 31, has family members in Ukraine and attended the protest in Santa Monica to bring awareness of the invasion.

“We’re gathering here to protest Putin’s invasion in Ukraine and to stand for freedom and independence in the Slovenian Country in Ukraine,” Mykhailo said. “My mom and fellow citizens are hiding in a basement, and my dad is at work taking a night shift and staying in a bomb shelter at least until Monday. Russia is killing my people. I have friends in the front lines fighting for Ukraine, for their families, and for our country, and we’ll fight to the end.”

Mykhailo said the United States has been supportive with providing military support and personnel. 

“They’re already doing a lot, we deeply appreciate the military support, but at the same time we need more support and more drastic action from leaders in the West,” Mykhailo said. “Because if Ukraine falls, then it’s a precedent for anyone to destroy the freedom of people.”

On Sunday, Feb. 27, Ukraine’s health ministry said that at least 352 civilians, including 14 children, have been killed since the invasion began. A further 1,684 people have been wounded, it said.

In Malibu, Chairman of the Malibu Public Works Commission mentioned the news during the Public Works Commission and Public Safety Commission meeting on Wednesday night.

“Just an update folks, while we’re struggling with these issues, Russia is bombing Kyiv,” Simmens said. 

Prior to the City Council meeting on Monday, Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Silverstein asked the council to hold a moment of silence for the families in Ukraine.