Sydney Commemorates 2 Years Since The Full-Scale Invasion Of Ukraine

For 2 years the world has watched as Ukraine and Ukrainians have fought a fight for Ukraine’s very existence, against authoritarianism, terror and genocide. Over the last two years over 125,000 war crimes by Russians have been registered, over 3,800 educational facilities and over 1,500 medical facilities have been damaged or destroyed, and more than 19,546 Ukrainian children are confirmed to have been kidnapped and deported to Russia against their will.

To mark this horrific milestone, 1,500 people stood with Ukraine at Sydney’s 2 Year Full-Scale Invasion Commemoration on Saturday24 February 2024, organised by the Ukrainian Council of NSW and held at the historic St. Mary’s Cathedral Square. Attendees show their pride in the determination and courage the Ukrainian people have demonstrated in defence of their homeland for freedom, shared their pain for those that have lost their lives, and added their voices to the call for further military aid for Ukraine.

Masters of Ceremony Galiya Faskhutdinova and Masha Renck, both of whom fled the barbaric, unprovoked and illegal invasion of Ukraine, opened the commemoration at 2pm, followed by the singing of the Ukrainian and Australian anthems by Yuliia Siedova and Mar’yana Sywak.

Maidan Nezalezhnosty in Kyiv has a flag wall for the fallen, where families and friends place a flag for those who have paid the ultimate price for Ukraine. Consular representatives of a number of countries that have stood firmly with Ukraine against Russian aggression placed a flag in our flag wall, honouring the many lives lost, and acknowledging the sacrifice and suffering of Ukraine and Ukrainians.

Attendees were then led by Father Oleh Stefanyshyn of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, and Fathers Evstafii Doroch and Vadym Koreniuk of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in a prayer remembering and honouring the hundreds of thousands of victims of this senseless aggression and in praying for a peaceful and united Ukraine.

Our VIP speakers His Excellency Vasyl Myroshnychenko, Ms Lynda Voltz MP and Mr Misha Zelinsky spoke powerfully at the rally, reminding attendees of why the world needs to support Ukraine and Ukrainians in the fight against oppression and tyranny.

Video greetings were shown from senior politicians who were unfortunately were unable to join the event in person. The UCNSW thanks Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Senator Simon Birmingham, Premier Chris Minns, Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Boris Johnson for their kind words of support.

Videos were also shown acknowledging those Ukrainians with a special connection to Australia who have fallen in Ukraine; acknowledging the support delivered to Ukraine by the Ukrainian community in Sydney; and showing the strength of the Ukrainian people during such dark times.

Ukrainian Council of NSW Vice President Andrew Mencinsky delivered the closing remarks, reminding those who attended the event what else they could do to support Ukraine.

Finally, all attendees recorded a video greeting to those fighting on the frontlines in Ukraine. We wanted them to hear our support, and to know that Australia and Australians stand together with the hundreds of millions around the world who continue to stand with Ukraine. Full photos are available for viewing here.

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