The"evidence on the ground" shows Russia is "moving toward an imminent invasion."
The "Stand With Ukraine" rally coincided with a planned U.N. Security Council meeting, where the situation in Ukraine was to be a topic of discussion.
The group of about 200 or so included people from Ukraine and others with family there. They waved flags, carried posters and lifted their voices through prayer, song and chants, CBS2's Alice Gainer reported.
"I just can't stand by and watch my ancestral homeland being devoured over and over again," said Sofika Zielyk.
"Ukraine is not Russia. Ukraine has its own desires and wants to be an independent country and I just hope Americans can see that," Iryna Hrubiy said.
Sasha Boyko recently returned from Ukraine and is in constant contact with his family there.
"I was there from December 29th to January 22nd," Boyko said. "It is frightening, but people have to go on with life as usual, so they try and keep as calm as possible."
Ola Rondiak lives in Ukraine, but came to New York City for an art show. She was set to return home, but is delaying her trip back.
"This is Ukraine's life story and especially the last eight years since Russia invaded and illegally annexed Crimea. So we've been living with this fear in Ukraine," Rondiak said.
Rondiak shared a picture of her family from 2014, during "The Revolution of Dignity." Much of her artwork is inspired by freedom.
"People aren't running away for the most part, unless they have to, they're there, they're fighting. Regular citizens are ready to fight and say 'Enough's enough,'" Rondiak said.
Others said the same about their family there.
"They are ready. They are preparing, they are emotionally and militarily getting ready. But they want to maintain a calm atmosphere so that people don't get frightened, and there isn't an economic strangulation," said Irene Sawchyn.
"They're saying that they're praying, they're hoping nothing will happen, but it's scary, and they really have nowhere to go. They're not gonna run. They're gonna stay and fight," Anya Farion said.
There is a larger rally scheduled for Sunday in Washington, D.C. Many at the New York rally said they plan to attend.
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