COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Central Ohio Ukrainians are coming together as the Russian invasion of their native country continues.
For a second straight day, local Ukrainians gathered outside the Ohio Statehouse.
Attendees at Sunday’s prayer vigil have been praying for Ukraine since the attacks started Wednesday. In addition to praying at their churches and homes, they went to the statehouse.
Hundreds gathered for about 90 minutes Sunday afternoon, with most of that time spent singing and praying in Ukrainian.
In the crowd were several people wrapped in Ukrainian flags, holding flags as they waved in the wind, and quite a few signs in support of Ukraine.
Many of those at the vigil still have family in Ukraine; Viktor Moskalyuk is one of them.
Moskalyuk has an uncle and two sisters who have told him they do not want to leave.
“For them, it’s where they live,” said Moskalyuk, a member of Grace Evangelical Church in Galloway. “That’s where they were born, that’s their land, and we respect that, and we just stand with them. We pray for them and support them any way we can, and they will not back down or leave their land just because somebody wants to take it.”
Also at the rally was Alexander Sinyuk, whose father and siblings are still in Ukraine.
“We want to do our part as people on the ground in the United States,” Sinyuk said, adding that his relatives are staying despite the violence.
Plans are for a Ukrainian flag to be raised at the statehouse to show support for the country.
Moskalyuk said seeing Ukraine under attack is difficult, but he will keep standing and praying for the country from Columbus, knowing his loved ones are still standing, too.
“I would greatly appreciate it and the people of Ukraine would greatly appreciate it if you hold them in your prayers,” he said. “Right now, it’s very tough, they’re living hour by hour, minute by minute. They do not know if they’re going to wake up tomorrow.”