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Demonstration in Montreal | “Hands Off Ukraine”

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Nearly 200 people waved blue and yellow flags in the colors of Ukraine, Thursday in Montreal, in support of the people undergoing an invasion by Russia.

Around 5 p.m., members of the Ukrainian diaspora were still present, brandishing signs that read “Montréal supports Ukraine”, in front of the Roddick gate at the corner of Sherbrooke and McGill College streets. “I am here because I care about my family, my country, my language and my culture, argues Ladislao Zaichka, who sings the national anthem, shivering with cold. Without it, we are nothing. The young man says he hastened to come to the rally, without taking the time to put on gloves. “I am standing here in the cold because what is happening is unjust and barbaric,” he laments.

“We must unite to preserve the lives of Ukrainians,” says Eugen Meshcheria, his cheeks painted in the colors of the country. The journalism student at Dawson CEGEP says he spoke all night with his grandparents, uncles and aunts who are in Kiev, the capital. “Whatever is going on,” he said, shaking his head. It shouldn’t happen on the 21stand century. »

Earlier in the afternoon, the crowd chanted “Hands off Ukraine” in the biting cold. Cars adorned with the Ukrainian flag sounded their horns as they passed the rally. The national anthem resounded, taken up in chorus by the demonstrators, shortly after a priest recited a prayer to watch over the Ukrainian people.

Luba Demko says he was able to talk to his family who lives in the western region. “They are terrified, but they stay because this is their country,” she said. On the verge of tears, she clutches her forearm, where the yellow and blue flag is. “I feel like I’m embracing Ukraine,” she breathes.


PHOTO CATHERINE LEFEBVRE, SPECIAL COLLABORATION

Thursday morning (Wednesday evening, Montreal time), explosions were heard in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, as well as in the east and south of the country, killing many people.

Near McGill University, several people held signs reading the hashtag #supportukraine, which is also circulating on social networks, to denounce the invasion of Russia.

“We don’t want this war”

In the middle of the semi-circle formed by the demonstrators, Luba Demko finds it hard to believe what is happening in Ukraine. “It’s a peaceful country that has done nothing wrong,” she repeats. He doesn’t deserve this. In the crowd, wreaths adorn the heads of some people. Several families are present.

Nearby, a protester stresses that it is important for her to show her support for Ukraine, wiping away her tears. “I come from Russia and I want to say that we Russians do not want this war,” breathes Dinara, who did not want to reveal his last name, for fear of reprisals. We don’t think the same as our government. »

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