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Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rabbi Voice Support, Seek Aid For Ukrainian Protesters

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Black and white pictures of dozens of protesters who lost their lives were placed on the cement outside a Ukrainian cultural center Sunday, with flowers and candles holding them in place.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rabbi Seek Help For Ukrainians

As WCBS 880's Monica Miller reported, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-Manhattan, and Ukraine's chief rabbi held a news conference Sunday on the Lower East Side to discuss the U.S. State Department's warning against travel to Ukraine, where at least 70 anti-government protesters were killed last week, and announce initiatives to provide support to New Yorkers' family members living there.

"People are asking what can we in New York do," Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bliech said. "The first thing we can do is pray."

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rabbi Seek Help For Ukrainians

Bliech said Ukrainians are mourning their loss but celebrating the spirit of the people.

"Every time they beat the people, more people came out to the street," he said. "When they started shooting, people didn't run away."

Maloney said the United States supports new elections in Ukraine.

A makeshift memorial on the Lower East Side honors those killed during the Ukraine protests. (credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

"We are supporting peaceful transition," she said. "We are supporting democracy and democratic values."

American Ukrainian leaders are asking for monetary donations because the riots closed down banks and grocery stores.

The U.S. State Department has asked citizens to defer any nonessential travel to Urkaine and requested that those who still chose to travel there enrollment in the agency's "Safe and Smart Travel" program.

"The situation is unpredictable, and it can change quickly," Maloney said.

Maloney said any Americans who want to inquire about a U.S. citizen traveling in Ukraine should call 888-407-4747.

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