Greater Cincinnati marks one year since Russia invaded Ukraine

‘What’s most important is that we answer hate with love.’
Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 4:17 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Friday marked one year since Russia invaded Ukraine, and local government officials, organizations and individuals worked together to show their support for those affected by the ongoing war.

An estimated 3,000 Ukrainians live in Cincinnati, according to a member of HOPE 4 Ukraine. Local leaders are continuing to help those in the city and overseas.

The Presbyterian Church of Wyoming held a candlelight vigil Friday night.

“We were paralyzed a year ago,” said Evgema Nemirovska de Santos, a Ukraine native and president of Cincy 4 Ukraine. “We didn’t know how it was possible. The biggest invasion in Europe since World War II.”

Jonathan Gay was among dozens in attendance at the church.

“We’re seeing democracy being tested,” he said. “We’re seeing humanity being tested, and I think so far, we’re rising to the occasion.”

Cincy 4 Ukraine and other organizations like it have shipped more than 11 tonnes of medical supplies and raised more than $500,000 for humanitarian efforts.

“Ukraine has to survive,” Bob Herring of the Cincinnati-Kharkiv Sister City Partnership said. “If Putin is successful, it’s a horrible precedent for the Western world and other countries.”

Said Gay, “I think what’s most important is that we answer hate with love. We answer hate with solidarity. [...]There is a path forward that can be peaceful, and there can be reconciliation with the power of love, and with Jesus’s help.”

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