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Dozens rally at Virginia Beach Oceanfront in support of Ukraine

Demonstrators wanted to raise awareness and money. Organizers said they may be far from the fight, but the war still hits close to home.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Dozens of people rallied at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront in a show of solidarity with Ukraine on Sunday. 

Ukrainians, people of Ukrainian descent and other community members waved flags, held signs, and chanted - calling for peace and freedom in Ukraine.

“Thankfully most of my family is out of Kyiv at this point, however my great grandmother and grandmother are still there," Matviy Zgurskyy said.

Millions of Ukrainians are fleeing their country as Russian forces move in. But many Ukrainians are staying in their country to fight.

“Right now, Ukrainians show high resistance against Russian aggressions in Ukraine," Valentyna Sonmezler said. "They came to our villages, they came to our towns and cities, to invade.”

The Tidewater Ukrainian School organized the rally to call for peace and to raise awareness and money to help refugees.

“I think that what’s happening in Ukraine really is – it’s a travesty, it’s atrocious, and it shouldn’t be happening," Evan Nied said.

Another demonstrator, Grant Montonye also added his thoughts. 

 “It’s really sad to see what’s going on, so we came out here to stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people,” he said.

This is the second week in a row that community members gathered for the cause. 

Organizers have already shipped around 100 boxes full of supplies to Ukraine and are collecting money and supplies to send more aid – everything from medicine to tactical gear.

For a list of what items they need and more information on how to donate, you can visit tidewaterua.org.

“I have grandparents in Ukraine and they’re still there so it’s very worrying, very stressful," Radomyr Couture said.

Organizers say they may be far from the fight, but the war still hits close to home.

“It’s a big tragedy for Ukraine nation but now we feel united as ever," Sonmezler said. 

Event organizers say they plan to rally every Sunday to raise awareness and money.

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