Matthew Kaplan Photography

Rally in Chicago to Support Ukraine - February 27th, 2022

"Slava Ukraini! Heroiam slava!" shouted thousands of Ukrainian's from throughout the Chicago area, as they turned out in massive numbers on Sunday afternoon to protest Russia's invasion of their homeland. Filling Oakley Blvd. in front of St.Volodymyr & Olha church on the near west side, and spilling far into the side streets, the huge crowd was joined by Gov. Pritzker, Mayor Lightfoot, as well as three congressmen and a host of dignitaries from the city's Ukrainian community.

Punctuated by the call and response of "Glory to Ukraine!", "Glory to the Heroes", the speakers and the demonstrators made clear their opinion that Russian President Putin was a dangerous war monger who had attacked Ukraine without provocation, and who needed to be stopped, for the sake of their beleaguered country, and for the preservation of democracy in the world.

US Representative Danny Davis, whose district includes Chicago's Ukrainian Village neighborhood, called out, "We are here because we resist oppression! It's Ukraine today. It may be the US tomorrow!"

"Close the skies! Close the skies!" chanted the crowd calling for a no-fly zone over Ukrainian air space.

Gov. Pritzker stated "Righteousness is with the people of Ukraine! Today we stand united for the peace and freedom of Ukraine! The people of Illinois are with you!"

"USA, Help Ukraine!" replied the crowd.

"Putin is a ruthless killer!" Mayor Lightfoot exclaimed to loud cheers. But boos were heard when she called for increased humanitarian aid. More boos when she praised President Biden's response to the crisis. The crowd wanted a no-fly zone, and weapons and ammo, not bandages. They felt Biden's response has been inadequate and that sanctions will take too long. "President Trump will negotiate the end of the war!" shouted a man in the crowd.

Cheers returned as the mayor ended with "Freedom for Ukraine forever!"

"I'm from Kharkiv." explained a woman holding a sign that read "Kharkiv be strong!" Ukraine's second largest city, Kharkiv is the scene of fierce fighting, but at this writing remains free of Russian control.

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