Crowds gather to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, shouting “No more war.”

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) — Dozens gathered at Ala Moana Beach Park on Sunday to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Many of the protesters, of Ukrainian and Eastern European descent, chanted “No more war” and “Putin must go” and wore the blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag to urge people to support groups providing humanitarian aid.

“It’s really scary because you don’t know what could happen, what could escalate. They have no idea what’s on their minds,” said Makiki’s Joe Michaloski of the Russian army’s invasion.

Iulia Carrier from Waianae grew up in the city of Kharkiv, where Ukrainian forces are fighting against the Russian military. Her family still lives there.

“It’s about 30 miles from Russia. That’s why I’m so emotional. My family – they couldn’t run away,” said a tearful carrier.

“Fortunately, my family is still in their homes. They still have electricity and internet, so I keep in touch with them.”

Many have expressed concern that Russian President Vladimir Putin has placed his country’s nuclear forces on high alert.

“It’s so disheartening to hear that. It’s the year 2022. For me, that’s unacceptable. That’s not the direction the world needs to go,” said Horia Vulpe, a resident of the Ala Moana area.

“We need a strong answer to that.”

The US and its allies have imposed economic sanctions on Russia.

The European Union said it would ban all flights by Russian planes and fund donations of weapons to Ukraine.

But for some in Hawaii’s tight-knit Ukrainian community, economic sanctions may not be enough.

“We need military support,” said Elena Roud, who helped organize today’s protest.

“More and more people will die. More people are dying every hour on both sides. So the world community – just like our community – has a duty to speak out and stop this madness.”

Svitlana Ivasyuk from Mililani added: “Sanctions are great and we really appreciate that, but I don’t think it’s enough. Like our president said…just give us the ammo,” she said.

Not everyone agrees.

“Shall we escalate this to a multinational war?” said Vulpe.

“I don’t know if that’s the right thing to do. I just hope that Ukrainians fight heroically at home and that the pressure that governments are putting on Putin convinces the Russian people and government to stop it.”

Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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