Large crowds gather in DC Sunday to show support for Ukraine

Thousands gathered Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial to show solidarity with Ukraine one month after Russia invaded the country.

Several Ukraine advocacy groups are leading the rally, including United Help Ukraine, the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, U.S. Ukrainian Activists, Razom, and the Renew Democracy Initiative. The rally kicked off at 2 p.m. Sunday.

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According to a permit filed with the National Park Service, organizers expected around 5,000 people to attend. 

The groups say, during the rally, they will call on the United States to defend Ukraine’s freedom and democracy by performing the four following actions: 

  1. Close the skies over Ukraine and provide Ukraine with effective air defense systems
  2. End all business ties with Russia and cut all Russian banks from SWIFT
  3. Direct humanitarian aid more quickly to Ukraine
  4. Streamline the process for Ukrainian refugees in the U.S.

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The rally will also feature several addresses from guest speakers. They include a video message from Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, whose appeal is expected to draw large crowds.

Here is the full list of speakers:

  • Video address by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy
  • Oksana Markarova, Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States
  • Bill Kristol, Director of Defending Democracy and founder of the Weekly Standard
  • Tom Melia, Senior Foreign Policy Advisor for Senator Benjamin Cardin
  • Luis Borunda, Maryland Deputy Secretary of State
  • Kirill Reznik, Maryland State Delegate
  • Marie Yovanovitch, diplomat, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine
  • Adam Parkhomenko, Political strategist, former Field Director Democratic National Committee
  • Performance from children at the Taras Shevchenko School of Ukrainian Studies

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Participants are encouraged to bring Ukrainian flags to the rally. 

If you cannot attend the rally, organizers say you can still offer your support. They are encouraging people to put the Ukrainian flag on their porches or windows to show that they #StandWithUkraine.