On Sunday, February 27, thousands of people in Philadelphia gathered with Ukrainian flags at the Independence Mall near St. Nicholas the Wonderworker Cathedral to protest Russia's invasion of sovereign Ukraine. The city center was flooded with the blue and yellow sea, as many protesters, including Ukrainians and US citizens, as well as representatives of other countries, came with Ukrainian flags or in clothes of appropriate colors.
People are aware that they have come to express their position in defense of their relatives or friends who have come under heavy fire from Russian terrorists throughout Ukraine. Some said they lost contact with relatives because the occupiers cut off power.
The organizers of the rally, Ulyana Mazurkevych, the Committee of the Ukrainian-American Community, and the Ukrainian Committee for Human Rights, emphasize that Ukrainians must see that the whole world supports them, and the occupiers must withdraw.
We want people in Ukraine to see that we stand, that we speak for them, that we demonstrate our position, - said Ulyana Mazurkevich. "And then we will go to Washington and demand more support for Ukraine."
Bishop Luka (Zgoba) of Philadelphia took part in the rally in support of Ukraine together with a large community of the Vicariate of the UOC-Kyiv Patriarchate in the United States and Canada. Bishop Luke is convinced that the American awareness of freedom will not allow Ukraine to be left alone in this struggle.
- Today Kyiv is the world capital of democracy and freedom. After all, it is there, as throughout Ukraine, that the fundamental values of the modern world order are being fought for: freedom, free expression of will, justice and brotherhood. The courage that Ukrainians are showing today is unprecedented and deserves the surprise of the whole world. We are one hundred percent convinced that Ukraine will not only survive, but also win and become the founder of a fundamentally new world, where human life and freedom of choice will be valued without exception, - said Bishop Luka.
Several Americans of Ukrainian descent called on the world to boycott Russian oil companies and impose tougher sanctions.
After passionate speeches, there was a procession through the streets of Philadelphia, led by Bishop Luke of Philadelphia. People carried in their hands the icon of the Blessed Virgin "Military Protection", brought from Ukraine in 2019. This icon was painted at the request of the Ukrainian military and became a symbol of protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary for all Ukrainian soldiers. Bishop Luka prayed to the Blessed Virgin to protect Ukraine from the invasion of enemies and thanked all those present for their ardent support of his homeland.