Ukrainians gather in D.C. to honor those killed back home
Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 01:42
Feb. 23 - Ukrainians living in the U.S. gather in front of the White House to honor those killed during recent unrest in their home country. Nathan Frandino reports.
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In between songs and prayers, Ukrainians in the U.S. mourn those killed this week in Kiev.
The group gathered in downtown Washington around a single coffin draped in a Ukrainian flag.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) TATYANA GUMENYUK, UKRAINIAN LIVING IN U.S., SAYING:
"Well it's bittersweet. It's sweet that the people stood out and paid the price. They really stood for what they wanted, but it's bitter because about 100 people had to shed their blood."
Wearing traditional flower wreaths and waving the national flag, Ukrainians of all ages came to show their support.
The gathering happened as an acting president takes over for the impeached President Viktor Yanukovich.
Ukrainians here welcomed the news.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) DAN RUSYN, UKRAINIAN LIVING IN PHILADELPHIA, SAYING:
"I'm really happy. I've been waiting for this moment for a long time. It's sad how it ended up with all these people dying, but I'm happy Yanukovich is going. I wish the best for my country."
Three months of mostly peaceful protests began after Yanukovich ditched the European Union for Russia, an association that angered many.
(SOUNDBITE) ORYSIA HEWKA, UKRAINIAN LIVING IN PHILADELPHIA, SAYING:
"Ukrainians do not want this association with Russia. They were going toward Europe. That's how this bloodshed started. They wanted to go toward Europe. We have nothing to do with Putin and his evil ways and we refuse to let him take advantage of our country."
Supporters here acknowledge that stability in Ukraine is still a long way off, but in the meantime they're holding their country close to their hearts.
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