Like Counterparts in the War, Ukrainian Protesters Won’t Back Down

BARUCH COLLEGE–On Sept. 30, a group of about 30 protesters gathered outside the Russian Consulate on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Some people wrapped themselves in Ukraine’s blue and yellow flag, while others carried posters saying, “Free Azovstal Soldiers,” and “Stop Genocide in Ukraine.” Other demonstrators stood over a Russian flag that had the word “killers” painted in red.

This particular protest called attention to the captivity of Ukrainian soldiers for more than 500 days, according to the group that organized the demonstration, Svitanok, which translates to dawn, reflecting its mission to bring a brighter future for Ukraine. 

“Freedom is a continuous struggle,” said Henry Hickle, one of the participants who had recently returned to New York after spending three months in the Ukrainian city of Odesa as a volunteer teaching teenagers English, helping with medical aid and providing entertainment.