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Cleveland community rallies downtown in support of Ukraine

Northeast Ohio's Ukrainian population has been steadfast in its opposition to Russia's invasion of the country.

CLEVELAND — With the conflict between Russia and Ukraine raging on in Eastern Europe, a rally in support of Ukraine and its citizens took place Saturday afternoon in Downtown Cleveland.

Organized by the non-profit Cleveland Maidan Association, the rally was held at the Free Stamp in Willard Park. People stood on the sidewalk singing and chanting, while semi-trucks draped with Ukrainian flags drove by honking their horns in solidarity.

Ohio is home to roughly 80,000 people of Ukrainian origin or descent, with thousands of them calling Greater Cleveland home. The community has been steadfast in its opposition to Russia's invasion of the country, holding protests and prayer vigils throughout the week.

On Thursday, the city of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, and other area leaders released a joint statement condemning the attack and affirming the region is "here to embrace [Ukrainians] with open arms." Both of Ohio's U.S. senators have also spoken out against Russia's actions, as did every member of Northeast Ohio's congressional delegation.

The Cleveland Maidan Association raises money to "purchase medical equipment for hospitals and basic necessities for the families affected or displaced by the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine," and also provides expenses for families of those killed or wounded in combat. You can watch today's rally in the player below:

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