Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Marking a month: Rally supporting Ukraine draws hundreds to downtown Vancouver (PHOTOS)

One of those in attendance is headed to the war's front.

It's been more than a month since Russia invaded Ukraine and Vancouverites gathered at the city's art gallery in support of peace and Ukraine.

The rally, on March 27, took over šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square at the Vancouver Art Gallery with singing, speeches and blue and yellow flags.

March 24 marked one month from the beginning of the war between the neighbouring countries. Since then thousands of soldiers and more than a thousand civilians have died in the conflict. Natalie Jatskevich, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress B.C. Council, spoke to the crowd about those casualties.

Among those in attendance was Denis Polishchuk, who served with the Ukrainian army in 2015 as part of the Carpathian Seige Volunteer Battalion; he plans to head to the front on March 31. Many in the crowd took time to shake his hand and take a photo with him.

Also in attendance was Kitsilano residents Kimberly Norris with her daughters Calista and Zoe Polyhronopouslos, who were giving out handmade items with Ukrainian flags on them and raising funds for the Red Cross's efforts in the war-torn country.

"The children are on spring break at school and they've spent the break painting Ukrainian flags onto wood objects and signboards and then they've been giving them away by donation to the Canadian Red Cross," she tells Vancouver Is Awesome.

She describes feeling helpless to do anything during the war.

"We figured this is something we can do to help; 7-year-olds and 5-year-olds are excellent at painting, so this was our way to do something, to raise awareness about the conflict and raise some funds," Norris says.

While they don't have a direct familial connection to people in the war zone, the children have friends at school who do, and their father is in Greece and has given his apartment to a group of seven refugees now living in the Mediterranean country. 

"The children learn about bullying at school and we thing that Putin might be the world's largest bully right now, so this is building on what the kids have also learned about standing up to bullies," Norris adds.