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Ukraine supporters rally in San Francisco on 2-year anniversary of Russian invasion

Ukraine supporters rally in San Francisco on 2-year anniversary of war
Ukraine supporters rally in San Francisco on 2-year anniversary of war 04:16

SAN FRANCISCO -- Dozens of people came together for a rally and car convoy in San Francisco as a way to show support for Ukraine on Saturday, marking two years since Russia's full-scale invasion began.

The day also marks one year since the war took away a member of Antchka Cheberenchyk's family.

"It's one year since my cousin was killed in the war. It's so heartbreaking," Cheberenchyk said. "I believe the world is supposed to do something. They're supposed to say something."

She was at the rally on Saturday hoping to remind people in America that there is still a brutal conflict taking place.

"It's so sad that it's two years and people are starting to forget," she said. "But my people in my country are suffering. Some of them do not have homes. Some of them don't have children."

Dmyto Kushneruk, the consul general of Ukraine in San Francisco, hopes numerous events throughout the Bay Area on Saturday will serve as a reminder to people here not to forget about the war in Ukraine.

"The situation for Ukraine – it is really difficult right now on the battlefield," he said. "It has become more difficult than it was, to some extent, because of the lack of necessary support from the West recently."

Over the past two years, the U.S. has provided a steady stream of aid to Ukraine -- billions of dollars of support. The latest round of aid, a $60 billion package, is stuck in Congress. It passed the Senate with bipartisan support but House Republicans have refused to bring it up for a vote.

"Every day with the delay of the bill being passed in Congress means more Ukrainian lives being lost," Kushneruk said. "We don't want to dive deep into American politics. It's not for us to do that but we have been proud that Ukraine had the bipartisan support. We need it in the future."

The California National Guard showed support for Ukraine on Saturday as well, flying Ukraine's flag alongside California's flag in a special ceremony. Kushneruk says a large number of Ukrainians have come to California since the war broke out.

"It has grown," he said. "We assume that around 30,000 have come to California and about 5,000 to 6,000 have come to the Bay Area.

Though Cheberenchyk is here, thousands of miles away from the war, she says this is a fight for freedom.

"We are fighting for the Ukrainian people to exist in the world," she said. "I believe the world has to speak, too. It's not fair for Ukrainian people. It's not fair for any people for someone to tell you what you should do in your own land, your own house. It's not right."

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