SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Ukrainian supporters in Utah gathered together in multiple events across the state to honor and support Ukraine during the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of the nation.
Some of these events included a rally in Salt Lake City and lectures at two universities given by Russian journalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov.
Salt Lake City Ukraine rally
Over a hundred people rallied at the Capitol Building today, Feb. 25, to call for continued support for Ukraine and thank those who have helped the cause. Among those present was Governor Spencer Cox who dedicated Feb. 24 as the official Peace for Ukraine Day in Utah.
The rally, organized by multiple local Ukrainian organizations, began with the Ukrainian national anthem sung by a choir and was followed by speeches, music, and Ukraine trivia.
Organizers announced the rally on Facebook naming it “365 Days of Defending Freedom.”
“It’s been one year since the start of the brutal and genocidal full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Putin’s regime. Ukraine not only survived, but is giving the world a master class in patriotism and courage. Brave Ukrainians and their allies have united around the world in solidarity against terror and depravity,” the Facebook post read.
Russian journalist attends UVU and BYU
Universities also honored Ukraine by inviting the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov to their campuses on the year mark of the Russian invasion. Muratov spoke at both UVU and BYU yesterday, Feb. 24, about the bravery of Ukrainian children and families who have spent an entire year in constant danger.
Muratov warned his audiences against the tendency to grow tired of reading or talking about the war in Ukraine when the people there are still suffering and need continued support. Muratov also said he does not like to speak about the courage of Russian journalists when those suffering in Ukraine are examples of courage.
Muratov is the editor-in-chief of Russia’s leading independent newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, which was suspended a month after Russia invaded Ukraine, according to the Associated Press.
BYU said that Muratov is known for investigating abuses of power and is a vocal advocate for an independent press. Organizers at BYU also told the audience that Muratov sold his Nobel Peace Prize medal in 2022 for over $100 million and donated it to Ukrainian child refugees.
Local organizations involved in rallying support for Ukraine this weekend include Utah Ukrainian Community, Utah Ukrainian Association, Ukrainians in Utah AND Friends, Ukrainian Center Utah “Dzherelo,” Activist Organization “Klych.”