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PHOTOS: Kamloops rallies in support of Ukraine

Kamloops residents attended rallies to show their support for Ukraine on Saturday. Many amongst the crowd have family and friends back in their homeland and continue to have sleepless nights as they check in constantly with loved ones living amidst a war zone.

Kamloops residents showed their solidarity with Ukraine on Saturday as that country remains under siege from a Russian invasion in a demonstration along Columbia Street Saturday (Feb. 26).

The rally was one of several dozen held around the world and attendees received heavy support from passing drivers in the form of honks.  

About 60 people, young and old, waving flags, and signs, rallied along Columbia Street outside the Kamloops Law Courts as passing vehicles honked their horns in support on Saturday morning. A petition calling on the Canadian federal government to increase sanctions on Russia was also circulated.

Multiple people involved in the Kamloops demonstration are Ukrainian international students who expressed shock, fear and concern for their families and friends back home. 

“Stop Putin, stop war” read one sign. “Stand with Ukraine” read another.

Demonstrators chanted slogans of “glory to the heroes” and “glory to Ukraine” in the language while some made speeches of support for Ukraine and denounced Russian president Vladimir Putin for the act of aggression.

Another rally with many familiar faces, took place Saturday afternoon at Riverside Park.

On Thursday, following Russian military buildup along the border — and speculation for weeks that an attack was imminent — Putin sent his troops into Ukraine.

The fighting began with missile attacks and long-range artillery, with explosions and attacks being reported around the country.

On Friday, reports stated Russian troops were entering the capital city of Kyiv, with the Ukrainian forces repelling the initial assault on the city.

For those rallying in Kamloops, they hope they raised awareness of the crisis in Ukraine, and want people to know they can support the country and its military through donations.

The Canadian Red Cross is accepting donations for Ukraine and the federal government has said it will match that collected by the agency.