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Ukraine water tower rally: “We will not abandon them”

Just a month after Russia invaded Ukraine, hundreds of Chicagoans gathered again in solidarity with Ukraine and called for continued U.S. support for the troubled country.

Dozens of blue and yellow Ukrainian flags flew above hundreds of people standing at the base of the water tower, while community leaders and politicians spoke at the top of the stairs.

“These people are doing everything possible to protect their families, their homes and their love for Ukraine,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. “Can we do anything but stand here on a cold day, in the sun, in peace, and pledge our solidarity to the same cause? No, we need to stand together.”

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, is one of the speakers at a Sunday, March 27, 2022 rally to show support for Ukraine. The crowd gathered at the water tower and marched towards Millennium Park.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, was one of the speakers at Sunday’s rally to show support for Ukraine. The crowd gathered at the water tower and marched towards Millennium Park.

Anthony Vazquez/The Sun Times

Shakovsky, who is of Ukrainian descent, also expressed support as he addressed the crowd.

“I know you want more, we all want more, and we want to see Vladimir Putin fail once and for all,” Shakovsky said.

Attendee Larissa Iwankiw, whose sister and other family members are in Ukraine, said she would continue to be there until the war was over.

“We will not forget and we will not stop,” said Ivanki, 65. “I grew up here, I went to a Ukrainian school, I went to a Ukrainian church, and our kids say [Ukrainian and English]. Just because we’re here doesn’t mean we’ll never forget. We will not abandon them. “

On Sunday, March 27, 2022, U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky spoke out against President Vladimir Putin at a rally, denouncing Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The rally was held at the Water Tower on the Gold Coast.

U.S. Rep. Jan Shakovsky (D-Ill.) spoke out against President Vladimir Putin at a rally Sunday, condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The rally was held at the Water Tower on the Gold Coast.

Anthony Vazquez/The Sun Times

Serhiy Koledov, Ukraine’s consul general in Chicago, called on the U.S. government and NATO to help Ukraine by establishing a no-fly zone over the country, supplying military aircraft and tanks, and cutting off remaining economic ties with Russia.

“Russian forces can continue to kill thousands of our citizens and destroy our cities,” Shelley said. “Further action is required immediately.”

Also speaking at the rally were U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley, D-Ill. and Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd).

Hopkins, whose voters include residents of Chicago’s Ukrainian Village neighborhood, told the crowd to keep holding himself and other politicians accountable.

“Patience in the face of mass murder would be insane,” Hopkins said. “Tolerance is unacceptable when innocent children are killed.”

The group marched from the water tower, into the loop, and on to Millennium Park, chanting “shut the sky”, “US for Ukraine” and more.

At the end of the rally, the Ukrainian national anthem rang through the park. Protesters chanted in unison as blue and yellow smoke enveloped the Cloud Gate sculpture.

As the Ukrainian national anthem was sung in Millennium Park on Sunday, the air was filled with smoke of blue and yellow, the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

As the Ukrainian national anthem was sung in Millennium Park on Sunday, the air was filled with smoke of blue and yellow, the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

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