YEREVAN — The Ukrainian Embassy in Armenia initiated a rally in solidarity with Ukraine on February 27 at the Yerevan monument of Taras Shevchenko, a Ukrainian writer and ethnographer of the nineteenth century.
There were a little over 100 protestors gathered around the monument, and some took turns using a megaphone to deliver speeches. After their speeches, the speaker would say “slava Ukraini,” or glory to Ukraine, and the crowd would respond with “heroiam slava,” or glory to the heroes. One of the speakers was Georgii Shatilova, a Ukrainian national who has been in Armenia for two weeks with his wife Yelyzaveta. The airspace in Ukraine is currently closed for civilian flights, so the Shatilovas cannot return to their families.
“Fascist forces of the Russian Federation led by their fascist leader Vladimir Putin have invaded Ukraine,” Georgii said. “Peaceful citizens of Kiev, Kharkiv, [and] Odessa are currently under Russian bombardment and this has to stop.”
Their family and friends have been stuck in Ukraine, spending three nights in a row in shelters, he continued. Georgii said that although their families are relatively safe in the shelters, they do not know what next steps to take. Yelyzaveta’s parents must take care of her 80-year-old grandparents, and cannot abandon them.
“They plan to stay in Ukraine because it’s their land. They do not need to go anywhere from home,” Yelyzaveta said.
Armenians and other nationals such as Lithuanians and Georgians came to support Ukraine. Many of the Armenians at the rally were from the National Democratic Axis political bloc. Board member Garegin Chugaszyan was among the speakers of the rally.