New York is home to more than 150,000 Ukrainians, the largest such community in the country, with pockets in the East Village in Manhattan and Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, as well as a scattered population in five districts.
“New York is home to the largest Ukrainian population in America, and our city is with them and joins them in praying for those who were hit this morning,” Mayor Eric Adams said on Twitter. “An unprovoked and unjustified invasion of their homeland is an attempt at freedom.”
There was outrage mixed with fear when hundreds of Americans took to the streets on Thursday to protest in Times Square before marching through Midtown to Russia’s mission to the United Nations in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
“It’s awful, obviously,” said Ukrainian New Yorker Yan Kirichenko. “We have all the families there, our relatives, and now they are trying to find some safe place.”
Authorities closed 67th Street near the Russian mission and held protesters for half a quarter.
“While we are talking, my family was bombed,” said Vera Tolkach. “So every time I check my phone, I don’t know they’ll still be there.”
Jason Birchard is the third generation Ukrainian owner of the restaurant “Rainbow” on Second Avenue.
“I’m a big, big fan of optimism,” he said. “I really believed in diplomacy. I thought it was all a gesture, Putin’s position to put pressure on Ukraine to sign some non-NATO agreement. I’m very upset, I’m surprised, I’m upset, I’m angry, I’m sad, I have “I mean, it’s not just an attack on Ukraine. It’s an attack on the world.”
Band Brook also has a large Ukrainian population, and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has roots in New Jersey.
Residents can only helplessly watch as they fear for loved ones and home country.
At the prayer vigil on Thursday, the mood was gloomy – but their prayers called for strength after the war.
Congressman Tom Malinowski of New Jersey on Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine
The members of the Council of the Ukrainian Metropolitan had to pray more, because the amazing images of devastation and destruction come from the people they love.
They have seen years of abuse in the past and promise to resist Russian aggression.
“How many times do the Ukrainian people have to suffer?” His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony said. “How many times do you have to put it on the ground and bury it and always get up from the ashes and rebuild?”
A group of Christians says war is evil, but they are asking the West to increase military supplies to protect the Ukrainian people in times of need.
“The Russians are attacking the people’s places of residence without any attention,” said Archbishop Daniil Zelinsky. “If they attacked strategic places, it would be one story. But now they affect the place where people live. “
It is said that America should be the direction to stop Vladimir Putin because he is bringing the European continent closer to World War III.
“I can’t accept that in the 21st century in the middle of Europe you will have someone who behaves like that,” Zelinsky said.
Meanwhile, New York Governor Katie Hochul said the state is on “high alert” against cyberattacks related to the advance of Russian troops in Ukraine.
“We are on high alert for cybersecurity and our own defense,” she said. “Our thoughts are with the people who are under siege today.”
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