#StandWithUkraine at Federation Square

#StandWithUkraine at Federation Square

On February 24, a rally will be held at 3pm at Federation Square to commemorate the second anniversary of the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The event will be a collaboration between the Ukrainian World Congress, the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations, and the Association of Ukrainians in Victoria.

Stefan Romaniw, the co-chair of the AFUO and Vice-President of the UWC, told CBD News that more than 400 cities across the world will be holding rallies with the hashtag #StandWithUkraine, with every state and territory in Australia holding one.

“The purpose of the rally is to highlight the fact that the war is real,” Romaniw said.


It’s started to become a bit of a forgotten war, but its raging. There have been more missiles sent over in the last month than nearly the whole war.


The rally also aims to call on the Australian Government to provide increase its support to Ukraine.

“Ukraine needs military support now,” Romaniw said, who recently returned from a trip to Ukraine, where he met with the commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and other leaders, all of whom expressed a need for military support.

The event will also advocate for permanent residency for 7000 displaced people from Ukraine who are currently on temporary visas.

“What we would like to see is a pathway to permanency,” Romaniw said, “giving them the opportunity to be fully integrated into the Australian community”.

In its own show of support for Ukraine, the City of Melbourne last year ended its sister city relationship with St Peterburg in protest to Russia's continued "armed agression".

The rally will feature speeches from people displaced from Ukraine, alongside singing and chanting.

Debbie Daks, who has been raising funds for Ukraine by selling her artwork and conducting art workshops with displaced families, will be attending the rally with her dog, Wills. 

The Romsey resident, who bonded with her Ukrainian friends through their mutual love of American cocker spaniels, hoped for residents to attend the rally.

“The more people we can get to the rally, the better,” Daks said, who also encouraged participants to come dressed in the Ukrainian colours of blue and yellow.

Daks also attended a rally in January this year, where she read a speech written by her friend, Olena, who is from Lviv, Ukraine.

Olena (pictured), who goes by her first name, appealed to Australians to help her country.

“We want this war to end here, in Ukraine! We don’t want other countries, and people, and children to experience the horror in which we are now living,” she said.

The rally commemorating the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be held at Federation Square, on Saturday, February 24, at 3pm.

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