Local events mark 1st anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Vigil marks one year since Russia's invasion of Ukraine
Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 6:20 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 24, 2023 at 8:14 PM EST
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Friday marked one year since Russia invaded Ukraine.

The last year was filled with much loss and devastation for Ukrainians. Communities in Connecticut continue to find ways to support them.

“I buy for every penny that people donate, these medical first aid trauma kit that has literally everything to save soldiers’ lives,” said Olga Borsh of Marlborough.

Borsh was born in Ukraine. She said most of her family is still there. Even though she lives in Marlborough, she said her heart is in Ukraine.

“It is challenging. It’s tough. But I think it makes us more and more stronger,” Borsh said.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Borsh said she has been doing what she can to support Ukraine, from making bracelets, to using her voice.

She sings at events that fundraise money for Ukraine.

The money goes toward buying medical kits for soldiers on the frontlines.

“Ukrainian songs do magic, I believe,” Borsh said.

President Joe Biden recently wrapped up a trip to Ukraine and Poland, and promised unwavering support of Kyiv and NATO. He also slammed Russia.

“This war was never a necessity. It’s a tragedy. President Putin chose this war. Every day the war continues is his choice,” Biden said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pledged a push for victory.

Since the start of the invasion, more than 7,000 Ukrainian civilians were killed and an additional 11,000 were hurt, according to United Nations data. More than 8 million Ukrainians fled the country.

About 25,000 Ukrainians live in Connecticut.

In the last year, hundreds of Ukrainian refugees settled in the state.

“The Ukrainian people are very resilient, very brave. Very proud people. And we stand up to adversity as you can see,” said Myron Kolinsky, organizational director for the Ukrainian National Home of Hartford.

With the war about to enter its second year, Ukrainians in Connecticut said they’ll continue doing what they can to support those on the front lines.

“It is extremely important to us to see our land free and independent and live full lives like everyone else on this planet,” Borsh said.

A candlelight vigil was scheduled at the Ukrainian National Home of Hartford on Friday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“Virtually everybody in our community still has family back in Ukraine. I lost two nephews this year who were on the frontlines. And so there’s a real passion within in the Ukrainian community to support the army and also support the civilians who have been devastated by this war,” said Alex Kuzma, member, Ukrainian National Home.

A vigil was also scheduled at Yale University in New Haven outside of the Sterling Memorial Library at 3 p.m.

A “Hearts for Ukraine” fundraiser was set for 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Belvedere Restaurant in New Britain.

Friday marked one year since Russia invaded Ukraine.
A number of events are slated to take place today in Connecticut.
Local community supporting those in Ukraine