At an anti-war demonstration in Los Angeles, under one umbrella – Ukrainian Alexandra and Russian Maria.
Alexandra, left Ukraine, saving children from Russian bombardments.
“Here we wander, of course, they have changed a lot, inside the devastation, the longer you stay out of your country, the more you start to argue, Lord, what will happen next”, Alexandra explains.
Maria left Russia, also saving her children, but not from bombs, but from the authorities. After another action against the war, she was almost deprived of her parental rights in her native Krasnodar.
“When we went to the picket line, the guardianship authorities came to get my children and said if you have time to go to gatherings you don’t have time to take care of the children, we did our suitcases and left literally in a day,” says Maria, a refugee from Russia.
Alexandra came to the United States under the Ukrainian refugee program. There are more than 250,000 people like her, forced to leave everything and run away. Maria crossed the Mexican border and, like thousands of her compatriots, requested political asylum.
February 24, 2022 forever changed the lives of millions of Ukrainians.
“I was afraid for the life of my child, that was the main reason why, as a mother, I had to leave Ukraine. I had pictures of murdered children in front of me. was terrible, that’s why we left. But we hadn’t planned to emigrate, it was difficult for us, “says a Ukrainian refugee, Irina. With her children, she left Kiev at the beginning of the war.
A year later, Ukrainian refugees still do not remember the war without tears. For everyone, it is a personal tragedy. They say the protests make it easier for them because they are constantly going out in the diaspora.
The mayoral action in Los Angeles was organized by the Ukrainian community. But besides Ukrainians, there are also Lithuanians, Armenians, Belarusians and Georgians. Despite the pouring rain, they came to support Ukraine.
Margarita from Armenia, along with other emigrants from Yerevan, she is a frequent guest at anti-war rallies in California.
“We want to support the Ukrainians, because they are fighting for us too, for the liberation of all the peoples that Russia has effectively colonized. We want to support our Ukrainian brothers, we hope that with the fall of the Putin regime we will also be free,” says Margarita.
This opinion is shared by Kastus, who fled Belarus, for the protests of a young man in his native country, he was almost imprisoned.
“I hope Ukraine will win and bring freedom to oppressed peoples. The victory of Ukraine will give a chance to all peoples, all the territories that the Russian Federation once occupied, such as Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus, my homeland, will give a chance to be free and to win,” said Kastus.
Another anti-war demonstration on the anniversary of the war was organized by representatives of the Russian community in Los Angeles. The actions escalate as Russians continue to arrive in America in droves to this day.
“People care, and they start to participate slowly, leave the ‘nothing is decided, nothing is up to us’ zone, take the stage: “I want to join the rally, the anti-war movement, express my position,” he says. The organizer of the Russian community protest, Julia.
Anti-war action participants Roman and Elena left Russia after they began writing complaints against them, leaving threatening notes at the door. Elena’s students refused to attend her classes, and all because Elena and Roman spoke out against the war. Roman’s parents live in Ukraine.
“They are ethnic Russians, they have never faced any kind of fascism, nationalism, threat to life, as they try to present in the news. When this madness happened on February 24 , my relative took the side of Ukraine and now defends it. And another relative from the Orel region was mobilized and went to Ukraine to defend Russia, I don’t know from whom, but he left , and unfortunately he died. It’s very terrible that in the same family people fight against each other, ”says Roman.
Many Russian protesters in Ukraine have relatives or friends. And almost all protesting Ukrainians have relatives in their home country.
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