CINCINNATI — Cincinnati residents marched from Fountain Square to City Hall Monday to show support for Ukraine and sister city Kharkiv.
Ukraine's second-largest city, Kharkiv is home to several industrial factories, including facilities that build tanks and aircraft. On Saturday, the Ukrainian president's office said Russian forces blew up a gas pipeline in the city. One person was killed and 31 were wounded in shelling over the weekend.
Bob Herring, president of the Cincinnati-Kharkiv Sister City Program, said he has not heard from his contacts in Kharkiv for the past 48 hours. Herring attended Monday's march, saying there will be serious consequences if the rest of the world allows the invasion to continue.
"If Putin gets away with this, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania are next very possibly," Herring said. "This is where it's time for the U.S., for Europe, for all of the countries that believe in democracy and freedom of the press and assembly of speech, free and fair elections, it's time for us to stand together. Stand united."
Tri-State residents from Ukraine also participated in the march, noting how scary it has been to watch everything unfold from afar. Participants held signs saying "Save Ukraine," "No War" and "Stop Putin."
In addition to getting their message across, many at the march said they are hoping to raise awareness about what is currently happening. They said people may not fully understand the conflict, and if they continue their lives while Russia invades Ukraine, what stops Russia from invading other countries?
Mayor Aftab Pureval spoke at the event, calling the invasion "senseless and violent attacks...violence without cause and violence with unacceptable consequences."
President Joe Biden is expected to include the conflict in Ukraine in his State of the Union address slated for Tuesday.
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