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As War Rages On, Chicago Groups Hosting March, Flag Raising To Honor Ukrainian Independence

Thursday's flag raising and Saturday's march will commemorate 32 years since Ukraine became an independent nation — and show a united front against Russia's ongoing invasion.

Artem Zyakum helps carry a large Ukrainian flag on State Street as thousands gather during a rally in support of Ukrainian sovereignty in the Loop on Feb. 27, 2022.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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DOWNTOWN — Ukrainian American groups in Chicago are holding a series of events this week to honor the anniversary of Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union — while reaffirming their support for the country’s resistance to the ongoing Russian invasion.

At 12 p.m. Thursday, officials will hold a flag raising Downtown at Daley Plaza to celebrate 32 years since Ukraine became an independent nation.

And at 4 p.m. Saturday, Ukrainian Americans and others will hold a “mega march,” starting at the Congress Plaza Garden, 501 S. Michigan Ave.

Both events are being organized by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, Illinois Division.

The anniversary celebrations comes as Ukraine is in the midst of mounting a counteroffensive to Russia’s invasion of the country, which has now lasted 18 months.

“We are definitely using this occasion of independence to underline the fact we will defend Ukraine’s independence to the end. There is not going to be a compromise, and people are united as never before,” said Marta Farion, vice president of the local Ukrainian Congress. “Russian speakers, Ukrainian speakers, people of all ethnic backgrounds and religions are united to fight against this invasion.”

Credit: Provided
Ukrainian American groups are holding a march Saturday to celebrate Ukraine’s independence

Since war broke out in Feb. 2022, thousands of Ukrainian refugees have come to the Chicago area and Illinois, many of them landing in Ukrainian Village. As part of this week’s events, organizers are also staging a public photo exhibit at Daley Plaza featuring photos of Ukrainian children living in Chicago.

Farion said even as the war in Ukraine may no longer be top of mind for some Chicagoans and Americans fatigued by constant headlines, it hasn’t lost any urgency for those with loved ones still in the country.

“There is no single family that doesn’t know someone that was affected by the war, either killed or injured or had to flee and lose their homes,” Farion said. “We are directly affected by the war.”

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