A "Standing In Solidarity with NYC's Ukrainian Community" was being held Friday, featuring Rep. Carolyn Maloney, City Council Member Carlina Rivera, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, and others.
The event was organized by the United Ukrainian American Organizations of New York, a local chapter of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, leaders of the New York City Ukrainian community, elected officials, clergy, diplomats and supporters of Ukraine.
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New York City is home to more than 150,000 Ukrainians, the largest such community in the country, with pockets in Manhattan's East Village and Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, and scattered populations throughout the five boroughs.
Ukrainian New Yorkers are facing the uncertainty of war from 5,000 miles away.
"Last night was the most horrific for Kyiv since 1941, when it was attacked by Nazi Germany," Ukrainian Consul-General Amb Olexiy Holubov said. "And Russian missiles now fall on civilians' heads."
He briefed community leaders at a press conference on Second Avenue, saying the bombing and shelling have intensified and casualties are rising as the Russian army closes in on the capital city.
But he insisted that the Ukrainian military is fighting back.
"With your support with our strong stance, I'm sure we'll win and we will overcome," he said.
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Ukrainian New Yorkers have taken to the streets this week, demanding an end to the invasion. Many have insisted that the United States do more to help end the crisis.
Levine suggested that New York City has a role to play.
"We need to be part of the sanctions regime, because this is a city which, for decades, has provided safe harbor for the assets of oligarchs, of a plutocracy, who have particularly had a predilection to buy ultra-high-end luxury apartments as a way to launder their money," he said. "And we need to seize those assets, seize those properties, now."
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