The Utah State Capitol steps have been a sea of blue and yellow on Saturday afternoon as a whole bunch of Utahns, Ukrainians, Russians and others protested Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Whereas cries of “Слава Україні! Героям слава!” rang out from the group — which interprets to “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to heroes!” — one man stepped in entrance of the rally’s audio system. Wearing a blue-and-yellow striped button down, full with a yellow tie and sun shades, Jan Kubanek crouched down with the miniature tank he’d been carrying and pulled a bottle of lighter fluid from his pocket.
He sprayed the accelerant on the tank and had a small boy within the crowd “do the honors” — by lighting the tank on fireplace.
“I perhaps acquired into bother nevertheless it’s price it,” mentioned Kubanek, who’s from the Czech Republic. “If I can get into bother this fashion and lift consciousness, that’s the least I can do, not less than right here.”
Supporters held Ukrainian flags, wore sunflower flower crowns and even waved bathroom paper printed with Russian president Vladimir Putin’s face whereas they listened to audio system from the Ukrainian group.
“We can’t permit what occurred Nineteen Forties to occur once more immediately,” mentioned Yulia Holko, a board member of the Utah Ukrainian Affiliation. “Our brothers and sisters on the bottom in Ukraine are combating for his or her land. They’re very sturdy on the bottom, they’re pushing the Russian military again on the bottom. … We’re asking the worldwide group to proceed offering help.”
(Ed Kosmicki | Particular to The Tribune) Justin Godto, whose girlfriend is Ukrainian, waves a Ukrainian flag and holds a poster throughout a rally on the Capitol Feb. 26, 2022.
Holko urged the worldwide group to ban Russia from SWIFT — which in keeping with CNN, is a safe community connecting monetary establishments across the globe — with the intention to strangle the nation’s economic system.
She additionally known as upon European international locations to offer Ukraine with navy assets, since though civilian militias are combating the Russian military, the nation stays susceptible from the air.
“Europe, do you need to undergo some monetary penalties immediately, or do you need to have Putin at your step tomorrow?” Holko requested. “We should cease him.”
(Jordan Miller | The Salt Lake Tribune) Yulia Holko, left, and Anya Baryshok, proper, communicate to the group throughout a rally in help of Ukraine on the Capitol on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. Holko and Baryshok are each part of the Utah Ukranian Affiliation.
Honorary Consul of Spain Baldomero Lago mentioned the presidency of the Utah Consular Corps, which represents 30 nations around the globe, wrote a decision in help of Ukraine — condemning Russia’s “illegal” actions and demanding the fast withdrawal of Russian troops from the sovereign nation.
However Ukrainians are hoping for extra motion, not simply phrases, from the worldwide group.
“We’re simply actually asking the nationwide group to not hesitate and to be to be very agency of their actions and to not delay, as a result of each hour that we’re delaying, it’s inflicting Ukraine many, many lives,” Holko mentioned. “We’re simply asking for the world to be actually sturdy of their stand in opposition to Putin. Finally, he ought to actually be overthrown — he’s a menace to the complete world and Ukraine is making an attempt to cease that menace.”
(Jordan Miller | The Salt Lake Tribune) Attendees maintain up Ukrainian flags and indicators on the steps of the Capitol throughout a rally in help of Ukraine on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022.
(Ed Kosmicki | Particular to The Tribune) Members maintain flags, indicators and sunflowers, the nationwide flower of Ukraine, throughout a rally on the Capitol steps Saturday, Feb. 26 2022. An estimated 500 individuals attended the rally in solidarity with Ukraine, which was invaded this week by Russia.