Ukrainian New Yorkers gathered in Brooklyn’s Asser Levy Park Thursday afternoon in anticipation of the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of the Sovereign Eastern European nation.
Assembling around the park’s bandshell draped in the embattled county’s colors and brandishing signs condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin for the invasion, the predominantly Ukrainian area of the borough looked to stand in defiance of the ongoing onslaught on the eve of the war’s anniversary.
Ukrainian Arthur Zgurov has been helping to organize and attend rallies each week since the invasion began on Feb. 24 of 2022, and although he says he is in grief due to the ongoing violence, he says he’s proud of his nation’s supporters who have come together this past year.
“Sadness, grief, anger, but on the same hand, a great feeling of pride for my country and pride for the world. Great cost, but we managed to change the world already,” Zgurov said. “I’m proud of understanding that we have been out, we’ve been having protests for the entire year. Every weekend, people show up during hard moments, I’m not only talking about weather, about moral situations that people experienced but they still manage to find strength.”
According to Zgurov, there will be a host of actions taking place Friday, including a flag raising ceremony at Bowling Green at 8 a.m.; a protest near the United Nations General assembly at 10 a.m.; and the biggest action is set to be a gathering in Times Square at 8 p.m.
Council member Ari Kagan also attended the event to show his solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
“This is not the war between Russia and Ukraine. This is a war between darkness and light. And I said, every decent person, anywhere in the world should support Ukraine in this fight because Ukraine is fighting for the entire world because we all know that Putin is not going to stop on Ukraine,”
“This is a fight to choose our own destiny. And that’s why I strongly support Ukraine. And I’m very grateful to each one of you,” Kagan added.