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Moncton shows strong support for Ukraine at solidarity rally

Moncton residents came out in droves to support the city’s Ukrainian community for the second time since Russia’s attack began.

Early Saturday afternoon, a sea of blue and yellow flags greeted pedestrians on Main Street, just outside of city hall.

Natalia Zaiets moved to Moncton two and a half years ago with her husband and two children. She is worried sick about her family and friends back home in Ukraine.

“We get up in the early, early morning thinking about them,” said Zaiets.

She said she spends every available minute checking the news.

“I don’t sleep until 12 a.m. to make sure all my relatives are still alive.”

Seeing a big crowd show up for Ukraine makes her feel less alone, she said.

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14-year-old Sofia Matkovskya feels helpless seeing images of destruction in her native country. “The first day the war started I couldn’t sleep properly,” she said on Saturday.

She finds comfort in seeing the Ukrainian rallies take place across the world. “I feel really proud of Ukrainians because even though we’re in Canada, we’re supporting each other.”

Moncton mayor Dawn Arnold attended the rally. She said there are roughly 500 Ukrainian families in Moncton.

“I think very soon Monctonians will be asked to help out, whether it’s refugees that will be coming here…I know Monctonians will step up to help.” she said on Saturday.

Moncton’s Bonny Pond felt compelled to attend the rally to show her support, and gets emotional talking about it.

“I know the people there, like anybody else they just want to have a decent life for themselves and their families. It’s heartbreaking to see what’s happening.”

Rally attendees took turns signing a painting by Moncton artist André Boulard, who painted it to show solidarity with Ukrainians.

A painting by Moncton artist André Boulard is seen at a rally for solidarity with Ukraine on Mar. 5, 2022.

“The suffering that’s going on there is a lot, and I wanted to add more positivity and supporting everyone in a situation like that,” Boulard said.

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“We need positivity, and I think that’s a good way to bring people together.”

Read more:

Canadian artists, organizations launch supports for Ukraine

Boulard plans to donate the piece to the Ukrainian club in Moncton, and possibly organizing a fundraiser.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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