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The Ukrainian flag is hoisted in front of the town hall. Photo/Andre Sylvia

MANCHESTER, NH – In a show of solidarity with the people of Ukraine, the Ukrainian flag was hoisted outside Manchester Town Hall on Wednesday in front of a crowd of Ukrainian expatriates and local residents concerned about the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and representatives of the New Hampshire Congressional delegation issued statements expressing their support for the Ukrainian people and their opposition to the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The longest-serving member of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, has been blacklisted by the Russian government since 2017 over her support for sanctions against Russia.

“Make no mistake, Putin started a war so he could fulfill his fantasy of rebuilding a Russian empire. Our response must make it clear to Putin and everyone who stands with him that they cannot rewrite history and that we stand fiercely and unequivocally with the Ukrainian people in their fight,” the spokesperson said. Shaheen, Chris Scott, sharing Shaheen’s message with the crowd. . “For freedom, this moment calls for continued solidarity and not just within the Transatlantic Alliance. We must counter Putin’s aggression with swift and severe economic and financial sanctions. People are gathering in cities around the world, including in Russia, to send a clear and unequivocal message that only Ukraine can decide its own future.

The event also featured several prayers for Ukraine, including a prayer in Ukrainian by Pastor Myroslav Biley of Gate City Church in Nashua.

Biley, who emigrated from Ukraine in 2003, views the invasion as an attempt at genocide. He thinks Americans need to do more to pray and donate for the Ukrainian people, but felt the flag-raising event was positive.

“It was a good event, we have to support Ukraine because they need our support,” he said.

Members of the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary provided a list of groups donating to Ukrainian victims of the invasion, highlighted by a Venmo code allowing people to donate to charity charity organized by the church.

Myroslav Biley Photo/Andrew Sylvia