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Utahns rally for Ukraine after one year of Russian invasion

Posted at 4:21 PM, Feb 25, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — One year ago, Ukrainians woke up to a new world where their country was at war — and even today, they are still fighting.

A year after Russia invaded Ukraine, Utahns are still standing with the people of Ukraine to show them that they are not fighting this war alone.

“All the time, you are thinking about it,” said Oleksandra Kondieieva, who is from Ukraine. “So even if you act normal and live a regular life, all your thoughts are in Ukraine with your relatives.”

Kondieieva's family is still in Ukraine, dealing with the impacts of the Russian invasion. Her dad fought in the war and she is always on edge about what could happen next.

“It’s unfair,” she said. “So why do we have to fight for it in this century, in this time? why do we have to do that? Because of what?”

For her and many others like her who call Ukraine home, this war has caused devastation they never hoped to see.

“Trauma you have to deal with because a lot of people I knew died in this war. They were young people — they fought for our freedom,” said Kondieieva.

But Utahns rallied together Saturday outside the Utah State Capitol to raise awareness about Ukraine’s fight for freedom — like Katelyn Stout Hoskyns, who has family there. Her sister-in-law is from Ukraine, and she spent time there as well.

“There are so many things we can do to donate and help the people of Ukraine right now,” said Hoskyns. “They need armor, they need vests, they need helmets. There’s so much that we can do from here even if it’s just monetarily. So to me it just fills me with hope — even just walking up the stairs, I just thought, 'Look — everyone gathered.'”

The rallygoers celebrated that Ukraine has held its ground for a year. They sang the national anthem, held signs, wore the Ukrainian flag and showed people that there are ways to help.

“If we don’t stand up and do something, who’s going to do that?” said Katelyn.

“We want Ukraine to win and we want to show our support and just to show that everybody remembers,” said Kondieieva.