Amidst hard times, Ukrainian Independence Day brings joy to the community

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BINGHAMTON N.Y -At a time when Ukrainians continue to battle with

Russians to maintain their freedom, local Ukrainian-Americans celebrated

the country’s independence today.

The annual Ukrainian Independence Day flag raising took place outside of

Binghamton City Hall today.

Members of 3 local congregations, Sacred Heart Ukrainian Catholic Church,

Saint John the Baptist Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the First Ukrainian

Pentecostal Church, listened to speakers and sang the Ukrainian national

anthem.

Master of Ceremonies Victor Czumak says the event demonstrates their

solidarity with Ukraine in the hope of a brighter future.

Czumak says, “It’s a very passionate time, a very joyous time and

sometimes bittersweet because even though we celebrate the

independence, we still have a lot of turmoil going on back at home in

Ukraine with Russian influence in certain areas, people jockeying for

position. But all-in-all, people come with hope to celebrate that they can be

here and once again see our home country be free from tyranny.”

Russian armed forces seized the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea back in

2014 and have been backing an ongoing insurgency in the eastern portion

of Ukraine which borders Russia.

Speakers spoke about the need for US support as Ukraine continues to

struggle against Russian aggression.

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