RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Hundreds of protesters gathered at the front steps of the North Carolina Capitol Saturday afternoon in solidarity to show support for Ukrainians impacted by the Russian invasion.
It’s been two weeks since the heartache began with Russia invading Ukraine and local supporters from the group Ukrainians in the Carolinas said they hope history does not repeat itself.
“We just have to stop it. I’m old enough to remember the years immediately following World War II and I’m a student of history and it looks a lot like what happened with Hilter and we just gotta stop it,” Betsy Haywood said.
CBS 17 spoke with a man who lives in the Ukrainian city of Odessa, which is about six hours from the capital Kyiv.
He talked about being prepared to protect his city at all costs as well as what he hears late at night.
“At night time we hear bombs, bombs. Bombs and aircraft of Russian Federation,” Dmytro Tyshchenko said. “When we hear the signal….(siren sound)… everywhere around we go underground.”
Another supporter who has ties to both Ukraine and Russia said he’s tired of the fighting and wants both countries to reach an agreement to stop the chaos.
“Whatever that could be done diplomatically must be done. The blood and suffering of the innocent people must be stopped,” Alexander Pervunkhin said.
Tyshchenko said no matter what he will protect his family and city if the Russian troops invade Odessa.
“I’m not scared of this army. I’m civil and not in the army and if the Russian army would come to my city, I will protect it,” Tyshchenko said.
He added that the overwhelming amount of support from Americans gives him the spirit to keep fighting.
“I told some guys we are not alone. We don’t need your money but your support is amazing for us,” Tyshchenko said.
The Ukrainians in the Carolinas group wants to continue to spread the message of hope — wishing it somehow brings an end to the war.