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Ukrainians hold rally at Colorado State Capitol as talks of invasion continue

Posted at 4:52 PM, Feb 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-19 19:22:39-05

DENVER — It was a lively morning at the State Capitol Saturday as Ukrainians from around Colorado united in solidarity.

"Ukrainian people, they like freedom. They want peace. They want to live their normal life," Lileya Sobechko said.

Sobechko was born in Ukraine and moved to Colorado in 2002. But her mother, sister and other family remain.

"They have no place to hide. They know it's going to happen. It's going to happen," she said.

Among the crowd were people of all ages, each with their own story to tell, including Ret. U.S. Col. Hlib Hayuk whose family escaped from Ukraine when he was just five years old.

"I have a hard time talking without becoming emotional," he said.

No stranger to war, Hayuk says what we're seeing now is history repeating itself, which will likely have another costly and deadly outcome.

"Tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people in Ukraine will die, but so will many, many Russian young men and women," he said.

But Ukrainians are not alone in their quest for hope and freedom. Coloradans from countries like Lithuania and Belarus showed up to support and stand with their neighbors.

"It's just a matter of time. If he takes Ukraine, he's taking the Baltics next," Arvidas Jarasius, who has family in Lithuania, said.

For now, all they can do is stand by from afar and hope for the best.

"Always at these critical moments, Ukrainians throughout their history come through," Hayuk said.

Saturday's rally at the State Capitol was planned ahead of Sunday's rally in Washington D.C. where Ukrainians from around the country are expected to gather and show their support.