SAN ANTONIO — The melody of Ukrainian patriotism echoed downtown San Antonio Thursday while war unfolded more than 6,000 miles away.
About a dozen people gathered outside San Fernando Cathedral in solidarity, calling for peace and denouncing Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.
Gregory Lundblade, an Alamo City native and his wife, Viktoriya, who grew up in Ukraine, have been married for two decades.
Gregory brandished an American flag while Viktoriya donned the colors of Ukraine. Like the rest of the world, the Lundblades have witnessed the terror of war over television and the internet.
“It’s a lovely place, they’re wonderful people, just a sense of sadness that this is being inflicted upon them and that this forced upon them,” Gregory said.
“Everything is blocked, people are scared, people running, out of money,” Viktoriya said.
The non-profit organization Ukrainian San Antonio organized the demonstration after hearing of the invasion commencing in multiple regions of Ukraine.
Ukrainian San Antonio aims to educate the community about Ukraine’s history and culture by holding interactive events throughout the year.
Viktoriya grew up in Kharkiv, which is the second-largest city in Ukraine about 30 miles from the Russian border.
Tragedy struck Viktoriya’s extended family as she learned her second cousin died of natural causes. Providing financial assistance to the family has been a challenge due to complications with the banks.
“The banking system is there at the moment is just tied up, it’s locked up because it’s been cyber attacked so there is no way we can get money to assist them at this time,” Gregory said.
“Right now, problem to survive, trying to survive from this bombing and also problem how to make funerals,” Viktoriya said.
Gregory stressed American should be concerned about the Ukraine-Russian conflict not only for the humanitarian aspect but how the conflict is impacting the world economy, including the price of food and gas.
While he doesn’t believe sanctions will ultimately deter President Vladimir Putin from advancing further into Ukraine, Gregory along with his wife are hopeful for the rebirth of peace one day.
“I like would like that everything come back to peaceful time when I left 20 years ago,” Viktoriya said.
To learn more about Ukrainian San Antonio, visit this link https://www.ukrainiansanantonio.com/