PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thousands of people gathered in support of Ukraine at Independence Mall in Philadelphia. It was as much of a pro-Ukraine rally as it was an anti-Vladimir Putin gathering. Many at the rally have family and friends in Ukraine.
A sea of blue and yellow flags decorated Independence Mall Sunday afternoon.
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Philadelphia is home to the second-largest Ukrainian community in the country with more than 60,000 people with Ukrainian heritage in the region.
Those who came out say they were not willing to stay silent in the face of what they say was unprovoked Russian aggression. Many chanted, “Stop Putin now” during the rally.
Signs reading “Free Ukraine” speak to the country’s fight for their independence, one they say that matters not only to that region but the entire world.
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“The system is being attacked in a brutal way,” one man said. “Violating international law and upending the global system of security.”
“It will affect you one way or another, and sometimes you’re just worried about gas prices, but in the long run it will affect democracy and freedom,” Ylana Charma Kelly said.
CBS3 also saw a lot of support from people in neighboring countries Sunday. People that represent Poland, Belarus, and Lithuania all showed their support for Ukraine. The message is that Philadelphia and the world stand with Ukraine in their fight to keep their freedom.
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On Eyewitness News at 11 pm, we’ll air a very candid interview with a college student from Ukraine as she braces for another night of attacks.