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The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Students, City Rally for Second Anniversary of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Students and supporters of Ukraine rallied at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial Feb. 24 to mark the anniversary of the second year since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. 

The Ukrainian Embassy in the United States and U.S. Ukrainian Activists, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting Ukraine, were the primary organizers of the rally, which saw protesters call for continued and furthered U.S. support to Ukraine at the two-year mark. The rally was followed by a march to the Russian ambassador’s home. 

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion began Feb. 24, 2022, more than 10,000 Ukrainian civilians and 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed. This invasion happened after Russia’s continued occupation of territories in Eastern Ukraine, including Russia’s annexation of Crimea in February 2014.

Andrii Sendziuk (MSB ’24), the president and founder of the Georgetown University Ukrainian Society (GUUS), said he had to attend the rally because of the pain associated with the significance of the second anniversary. 

“Being overseas, commemorating the date and remembering the losses and bravery of Ukrainian people is truly the least one can do, so attending the rally was a given,” Sendziuk wrote to The Hoya.

Courtesy of Uliana Leshchuk | Georgetown students attended a rally for Ukraine at the Lincoln Memorial on Feb. 24, exactly two years after the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, to call for continued American and international support.

Uliana Leshchuk (CAS ’27), who attended the rally, said the experience was inspiring and showed continued support for Ukraine. 

“It was honestly a bit of an uplifting experience,” Leshchuk told The Hoya. “A lot of people, especially in Ukraine, have felt discouraged by the recent losses, but it was uplifting to see the amount of people that came to support, Ukrainians and non-Ukrainians.”

Olha Kovach (SFS ’26) is from Ukraine and serves as a board member and director of outreach with GUUS. She said attending the rally was meaningful and an opportunity to spread awareness about the ongoing war. 

“I feel privileged and responsible to be here, at Georgetown, attending college while many of my peers in Ukraine are deprived of such a simple thing,” Kovach wrote to The Hoya. “Therefore, although far from home, I find it important to support my country and its resistance in this long-lasting war. I feel responsible for leveraging the opportunities given to me, talking about my experience, and spreading awareness about what is happening in my country.”

Leshchuk said the need for U.S. and international support of Ukraine is necessary, especially after Ukraine lost the city of Avdiivka, a strategic city in eastern Ukraine whose fall resulted in the capture of hundreds of Ukrainian troops Feb. 17. 

“Ukrainians, we have a willpower to fight, and we do what we can,” Leshchuk said. “So many people have volunteered to fight, but if we don’t have the artillery or the weapons to fight back, then they’re outgunned, and it’s like bringing a knife to a gunfight.”

The United States has given Ukraine more than $44.2 billion for security assistance, but legislation that would send increased U.S. funding for Ukraine is being prevented as Speaker of the House Mike Johnson and the House of Representatives avoid taking up the bill. The Senate passed the foreign aid bill Feb. 12. 

Sendziuk said his and GUUS’ goal is to encourage continued international support for Ukraine, as it is necessary for Ukraine’s victory. 

“Considering the medical and volunteering initiatives, foreign aid, and diplomatic relationships in Ukraine, the support of the international community has been crucial to the country’s continued fight,” Sendziuk wrote. “We continue to emphasize the importance of calling your representatives in Congress and voicing the support for Ukraine.”

GUUS has created recent initiatives to further financial support to Ukraine with a GoFundMe to aid Ukrainian medical workers, having raised €463 out of the €2,000 goal as of Feb. 29. GUUS also plans to host a discussion with professors about the changes in the Russia-Ukraine war and geopolitical alliances. 

Kovach said the two-year mark since Russia’s full-scale invasion and the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war represents her safety in contrast to Ukraine’s experiences of war.

“The anniversary definitely evokes a profound mix of emotions and realizations,” Kovach wrote. “It not only reminds me of how long-lasting and devastating this war has been but also how vastly different my life is because I am at Georgetown, safe and pursuing my education.”

Sendziuk said he sees a decrease in discourse about Ukraine compared to discourse two years ago, which he says is concerning and disappointing. 

“This is a detrimental trend because — while the beginning of the full-scale invasion might have been more ‘sensational’ for the Western society — the war has not subdued and Russia continues to threaten democracy as we know it to the same extent as in February 2022,” Sendziuk wrote. “It is clear with every new day of the war that war Ukraine is not only defending itself, but all of Europe.”

Kovach said she encourages all students to seek ways to support Ukrainians and Ukrainian students during the war, including through the GUUS events and initiatives. 

“I’d like to emphasize how grateful we are for the Georgetown community and all its support,” Kovach wrote. “The war in Ukraine is not over. It disrupts the lives of more people every day and makes it even more important that the international community is united in its support of Ukraine.” 

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