Ukranians call for continued support, celebrate Independence Day in front of White House

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WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — This week marks six months since Russia invaded Ukraine.

On Saturday hundreds gathered across from the White House to celebrate Ukraine’s Independence Day.

Wednesday August 24 marked 31 years since Ukraine became a democratic nation, free from the Soviet Union. But it also “Marked precisely six months since Russia’s full scale invasion of Ukraine began on February the 24th,” said Nadia Shaparynska, president/founder of US Ukrainian Activists.

Even with war happening right now, Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.S., Oksana Markarova called it a celebration.

“Because we will do what Russians do not want us to do. We will win we will survive, we will celebrate and we will always exist,” Markarova said.

Local organization United Help Ukraine is grateful for the continued support.

“As a small organization we ourselves fund raised over $35 million in just six months here in Washington, D.C. area,” said Maryna Bayduk, president of United Help Ukraine.

Some refugees have settled in the D.C. area.

“I wanted everyone to know that the Ukrainian war is the whole world against fascism,” said Georgeiy Melchuk, who fled Ukraine three months ago.

Supporters appreciate the recently announced $3 billion military aid package from the U.S.

“We can do more, we can do better, we can do more efficiently and much faster,” Bayduk said. “The aid is needed. It’s needed now, not tomorrow, not the day after tomorrow.”

“Please support our brave country, our brave sons and daughter that fights for freedom,” said Albina Lozitska.

Six months into this war, Ukrainians are optimistic.

“Everyone knows that we will not surrender. So our message is different today,” Markarova said. “And it’s the only message that any Ukrainian can have in our hearts and minds: We will win.

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