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Ukrainian-Americans mark Ukraine's Independence Day, and start of Russian invasion, in Warren

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Steve Carmody
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Michigan Radio
More than 100 Ukrainian-Americans took part in a candlelight vigil for Ukraine Tuesday evening.

Wednesday is Ukrainian Independence Day. The national holiday celebrates Ukraine's independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Tuesday night more than 100 Ukrainian-Americans gathered in Warren to commemorate their homeland’s independence and also to mark the six-month anniversary of the start of the war with Russia.

Singing the Ukrainian national anthem, they gathered with candles and small Ukrainian flags to pray for peace in their homeland.

Father Daniel Schaicoski is pastor at Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Church in Hamtramck. He said peace will only come when Russian troops leave Ukrainian soil.

“There can not be peace with Russia in Ukraine. There can not be peace in Europe if Russia is in Ukraine,” said Schaicoski, “I always say we pray for peace and victory.”

Independence Day festivities are more muted in Ukraine.

Kyiv authorities have banned mass gatherings in the capital through Thursday for fear of Russian missile attacks.

Over the weekend, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that Russia may try to do "something particularly nasty, something particularly cruel" this week.

U.S. officials say the Biden administration is expected to announce an additional roughly $3 billion in aid to train and equip Ukrainian forces to fight for years to come.

The officials tell The Associated Press that the package will fund contracts for as many as three types of drones and other weapons, ammunition and equipment that may not see the battlefront for a year or two.

As Russia's war on Ukraine drags on, the officials say U.S. security assistance is shifting to a longer-term campaign that also will likely keep more American military troops in Europe into the future.

People at the rally in Warren said they want more international help in Ukraine, especially from other European countries.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.