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Hundreds gather in Halifax to show solidarity with Ukrainian people –

Hundreds gathered in Grand Parade in downtown Halifax on Saturday afternoon to show solidarity with the Ukrainian people and calling for Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine.

ukrainian solidarity

People carried a long banner in the Ukrainian national colours to show their support. (Haley Ryan)

Hundreds gathered at Grand Parade in downtown Halifax on Saturday afternoon to protest the Russian invasion of Ukraine and to call for a stop to the war.

The planned gathering started with relatively few people, but the crowd grew quickly.

Some people carried Ukrainian flags while others carried banners and umbrellas in the Ukrainian national colours of yellow and blue.

The Ukrainian flag was already flying on the flagpole at  Grand Parade 

There were also large pieces of yellow and blue cloth stretched around the crowd like a ribbon.

ukrainian solidarity

Hundreds gathered on Saturday afternoon in downtown Halifax calling for an end to the war. (Haley Ryan)

Many carried placards bearing messages such as “Stop Putin! Stop the war!” and “Stand with Ukraine.” 

A tearful Nadia Timoshenko, who lives in HRM, said her ancestors were from Ukraine and she grew up in Toronto immersed in Ukrainian culture. 

She still has distant relatives there and doesn’t know what is happening to them.

nadia timoshenko

Nadia Timoshenko said the crisis in Ukraine has hit her hard because of her deep connections to the people and the culture. (Haley Ryan/CBC)

According to Timoshenko, the events in Ukraine in recent days have hit her hard because of her deep connections to the country and culture.

I think it’s important for Ukrainians and all humans to come together and stand against this,” Timoshenko said.

“This shouldn’t happen in Ukraine or anywhere in the world.”

She said it was heartwarming to see the outpouring of support at Grand Parade.

Jane MacKay of Dartmouth attended the rally. She said the problems in Ukraine put Canada’s recent problems into context.

“I think following what has gone on here in the last month, people need to recognize that our problems are small… so far,” she said. “But they’re all going to get worse if we don’t stand up to this kind of thing.”

The people gathered in Halifax heard speeches condemning the Russian invasion and applauding the bravery of the Ukrainian people and armed forces.

ukrainian solidarity

Those gathered sang the Canadian and Ukrainian national anthems in support of the people of Ukraine. (Haley Ryan)

Speakers also referred to the bravery of the 13 military personnel on Snake Island who refused to surrender to the crew of a Russian warship and were all killed. 

The people gathered also sang both the Canadian and Ukrainian national anthems.

Premier’s office

Earlier on Saturday, the premier’s office issued a news release saying Nova Scotia stood in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and said Province House will be flying the Ukrainian flag in support.

The province is donating $100,000 to the local chapter of the Canada-Ukraine Foundation in order to provide humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian people, the release said.

“Nova Scotians were shocked and horrified by Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, which endangers the lives of people and flies in the face of international law,” said Premier Tim Houston.

According to the release, Nova Scotia will also be working with Ottawa to expedite immigration applications for Ukrainians wishing to move to the province.

The release said there are more than 9,000 people of Ukrainian heritage living in Nova Scotia.