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Monterey community rallies in support of Ukraine

MONTEREY, Calif. (KION-TV) -- Many people gathered in Monterey for a solidarity rally in support of Ukraine.

People came out to the rally for different reasons but for some they are giving a voice to their loved ones.

"Ukraine is a beautiful and heartfelt country with people I love," said Aleks Raskin, from Uzbekistan. "There's not much we can do outside standing here and express our hearts and minds."

Many are asking for the violence and bombing to stop and are blaming Putin directly for the desecration of Ukraine.

“My heart is breaking because this aggression of Putin, not Russia," said Edward Drapkin, from Ukraine.

Some have felt anxious since the beginning of the war.

"Our mornings start with us texting everybody to find out who’s alive," said Olena Vaske, from Ukraine. "It escalates with nonstop shelling and nonspecific attacks on civilians and residences. I don't believe I'm even saying this about a real situation."

Vaske is originally from Kharkiv, and grew up there for 17 years.

“And now it’s essentially destroyed, there is no more Kharkiv," said Vaske.

Vaske's mother and grandmother came to visit America in January and have been here since.

She said they no longer have a home in Ukraine to come back to.

Meanwhile those still in Ukraine have limited options.

They can hide out in their basements, but if the building gets bombed then the structure could collapse leaving them stuck inside.

Vaske said if they choose to flee, they might get shot or have shelling rain down on them.

“My friends and relatives are getting bombed. Some trying to get out; some already got out. Some deciding what’s safer, to stay or to go," said Vaske.

Many neighboring countries are giving aid to refugees leaving Ukraine but some are also making their way to the United States.

Palo Alto-based non-profit, Nova Ukraine has started to help those coming into California.

They are accepting donations to help with their efforts on their website.
Nova Ukraine Website
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Joronica Vinluan

Reporter/ Weekend Producer for KION News Channel 5/46


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