Over 100 people gathered in Westwood Thursday to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and express their outrage towards the developing conflict. The demonstration was directly propelled by Russian president Vladimir Putin’s decision to launch a military assault on Ukraine, despite several global powers opposing the move.
The crowd assembled Thursday around 10 a.m. outside of the federal building in Westwood and grew in numbers throughout the day. Several of the protesters were Ukrainian Americans, according to KTLA.
“I am trying to reach [my family] all the time, but the connection is unstable. … That’s really horrible, and it’s important not to panic,” Protestor Dasha Koreniienko told KTLA. She added that her parents live in Kyiv—the capital city of Ukraine—and she was “very angry.”
Late last week, activists gathered outside the same building to promote a general message of peace in Ukraine prior to Russia’s potential invasion.
Protestors all across California want to echo the same sentiment expressed on Thursday, including a planned demonstration in the Bay Area, Patch said.
The attacks began late Wednesday night, with a series of bombings heard across Ukrainian cities Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, and distant gunfire in Zaporizhzhia, triggering air raid sirens in the country for the first time since World War II. Ukrainian officials stated that the initial assault resulted in the death of more than 40 soldiers and at least ten civilians.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responded to the acts by enacting martial law in the country, saying that “Putin began war against Ukraine, against the entire democratic world. He wants to destroy my country, our country, everything we’ve been building, everything we are living for,” he said in a Facebook message.
The European Union, United States, United Kingdom, and an array of other countries have since condemned the attacks, planning to impose sanctions on Russia in response.
Later on, U.S. President Joe Biden concluded his meeting with G7 leaders and delivered a message on Twitter regarding the sanctions.
“This morning, I met with my G7 counterparts to discuss President Putin’s unjustified attack on Ukraine and we agreed to move forward on devastating packages of sanctions and other economic measures to hold Russia to account. We stand with the brave people of Ukraine,” President Biden said.
He later added in a White House address that “Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war,” and that “now he and his country will bear the consequences.” He also assured that US troops “are not and will not” be engaged in the conflict.
For live updates on developments on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, tune in to CNN World.
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