RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — On Friday, people gathered outside the state capitol with signs in hand to demonstrate their support for the people fighting a war in Ukraine.
During the event, supporters heard from speakers and lit candles during a vigil.
“I worried a lot about my friends, people that I know, my family… it’s a big tragedy for my country and all my family too,” said Tetyana Kapoor.
Kapoor, who has several family members in Ukraine, was among the group of people who showed up to the rally on Friday.
She said in some ways it’s been even more difficult for the people who have left the country.
Through tears she added, “We feel so helpless and that we can’t do anything… We cannot take part, cannot help, this is the only way to help our country.”
Kapoor said she and others have demonstrated that continued support to help the many families in the Ukraine by showing up to rallies and donating through fundraisers.
She said several months have gone by since Russia invaded Ukraine and the need to support the many families there hasn’t changed.
She said, “So many tragedies happen but Ukraine didn’t give up and it will not give up.”
Kvita Oleshchuk, who helped organize the rally on Friday, said she left Ukraine two days before the war started.
She said, “It doesn’t matter where you’re at, what you’re doing. I’m still Ukrainian, my heart is Ukrainian and what’s happening in my country is just really horrible.”
Oleshchuk said she still worries about her grandparents who continue to stay in Ukraine despite the ongoing war.
She said after an attack killed dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war on July 29, she felt the need to organize a rally to bring people together.
Oleshchuk said the more people talk, the more people will see what’s going on.
Donna Goldstein, who is a board member with the Ukrainian Association of North Carolina, also spoke during the event.
She said it’s great to see support at the local level, but hopes the government and White House officials will step up to protect Ukraine and recognize Russia as a terrorist state.
Goldstein said the rally was also an opportunity for people to come together including the nearly 30-50 Ukraine families who have come to the Triangle through the Uniting for Ukraine program.
With all the other news happening in the world, Goldstein said it’s important to make sure people haven’t forgotten what’s happening.