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More than 100 people gather at candlelight vigil for Ukraine in Balboa Park

Posted at 6:39 AM, Feb 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-26 13:14:06-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - More than 100 people packed the courtyard of the House of Ukraine in Balboa Park to pray for the country and the lives lost during the invasion.

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Flags, signs, and plenty of emotions were had at the candlelight vigil on Friday night. Some in attendance have family members who are still in Ukraine amidst the invasion.

One of those people in attendance was Khrystyna Chorna.

“To the point my sister waking up the next day at 5 a.m. and they had to hide," Chorna said. "You know they had to hide there was bombs coming.”

Chorna told ABC 10 News her brother is fighting in the Ukrainian armed forces.

“It’s hard to comprehend. It’s surreal. And you know I’ve already cried my tears. But the truth is I don’t know if he’s going to come back," Chorna said. "Like, are you kidding me?! I don’t know if my brother’s going to come back because of this tyrant?”

Seeing the courtyard of the House of Ukraine was packed with plenty of people standing shoulder to shoulder helps during this trying time.

“There’s awareness and solidarity because this is ultimately a human rights issue,” Luke Miller, an organizer of the candlelight vigil, said.

Many of the signs disparaging Russian president Vladimir Putin and others calling for action from the U.S.

“We’re devastated in Ukraine, and we really ask for help. We ask for immediate partnership and help,” Chorna said.

As candles burnt and prayers were said into the night, the worry some have is not going away anytime soon.

“Just trying to get as much information as I can, make sense of it because things are moving so fast. The capital Kyiv could fall,” Miller said.

“Why do I have to worry about my brother? Why do I need to worry about my sister?" Chorna said. "Why do I have to worry about my people that did nothing wrong? I feel violated."

There will be two more rallies on Saturday at Noon and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at Balboa Park for those who want to show their support for Ukraine.

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