Activists from across the United States gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., Sunday in support of Ukraine.
Russia has amassed troops along its border with Ukraine, and fears of an invasion are growing. President Joe Biden also cancelled plans to go to Delaware for President's Day.
The rally was set for 2 p.m., then at about 4 p.m. demonstrators marched to the White House. More than 300 attendees were expected, United Help Ukraine said.
"We're here in support of our homeland and our families and our country of Ukraine. And we just hope that all of the people in the United States understand just how important it is to have support for the Ukrainian people," one woman said.
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News4's Darcy Spencer reported that though the demonstration has taken place annually for the past several years, it took on a whole new level of importance and participation due to the growing tensions.
"We're here to have our voices heard against the Russian aggression against the sovereign country of Ukraine. And it's high time that the bullying cease and Ukraine [is] allowed to live independently as it deserves, like every other country," another demonstrator said.
United Help Ukraine said they’re demanding “an end to Russia’s war in Ukraine and the occupation of Crimea,” the release of prisoners, according to a press release. They also want President Joe Biden to put economic sanctions on Russia.
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Rally organizer Yaro Helmen told News4 that his friends and family living in Ukraine have no plans on evacuating.
“This is their home. This is our homeland and they are there to defend it, whether it’s with pots and pans or weapons,” Helman said. “[They are] doing absolutely everything in their power to stand up for Ukraine’s sovereignty and democracy, because there is nowhere for them to step back to.”