The Ukrainian community in San Diego gathered on Saturday and Sunday at Balboa Park for a prayer of solidarity in the face of the Russian invasion.
"We ask that in addition to helping us to help the people of Ukraine, you call your representatives in Congress and tell them that it is urgent to stop the invasion of democratic Ukraine," said a man on a loudspeaker.
No one among those attending the rally knew how many Ukrainians there were in San Diego. Still, the repeated anti-war protest in the park has drawn a growing number of Ukrainian immigrants.
On Friday night, about 20 people arrived. On Saturday and Sunday, there there were between 250 and 300 in attendance.
Orysya Barva, a coordinator, said "the international community left us alone, and these are the consequences, an invasion and the murder of innocent Ukrainian citizens including children."
Barva said in an interview with Chula Vista Today that since Russia's invasion of the Crimean peninsula eight years ago, the international community has confirmed that its sanctions on the Putin regime were too light that they would not stop it.
"Now we have this monster that needs to stop without wasting any time," she said.
The immigrant, who has lived in San Diego for 20 years, said that it is time for NATO, the European Community, and the United States to respond more effectively to the invasion.
"Not only do we need money, but we also need weapons to arrive and volunteers to help us", she said.
For his part, singer Oleksano Dubovenko asked San Diegans to find out about the invasion directly from the Ukrainian media or serious media they have sent.
"In three days of the invasion, about 3,000 Russian soldiers have fallen, and the Putin regime tries to hide from the world this truth, which speaks of Ukrainian heroism," Dubovenko said.
The concentrations of Ukrainian immigrants in the park have had emotional moments when children from the community sing the Ukrainian anthem or traditional songs and when Orthodox priest Yuriu Sas addresses messages of faith to Ukrainians.