AUSTIN, Texas — On Sunday, Ukrainian immigrants to Austin organized a third protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine at the Texas Capitol.
The protesters on Sunday wanted to spread the message of condemning Russia's military aggression, and call for the world leaders to support Ukraine and protect peace in Europe and the world.
This comes after the group held its second protest at the Texas Capitol on Saturday.
Some of the protesters spoke ahead of Saturday's rally, recalling what they've been going through since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the military operation into Ukraine.
"We started reading the news and we see the explosions in our hometown, which is Kharkiv," Max Korabelsky said on Friday. "It's like one moment, like all your life changes, you know, it's just one of these moments. We were really afraid that ... I can say that I was never afraid like that before."
Yuliia Korabelska, Korabelsky's wife, said the couple moved to Austin nearly a year ago. They visited family and friends in Ukraine for Christmas. Once they returned to the U.S., they were constantly on edge, worried Russia would launch an attack. Now, they hear bombs exploding in the background of phone calls with their parents.
"We need more help. We probably need even troops from NATO. We need more armor. We need everything," Max said. "The [safeguards] here are not working anymore and diplomacy is up."
"I feel like international law is not appreciated by Russia. They ignore everything that is happening," Yuliia said. "Diplomacy is not the option, and we just need to protect not only Ukraine but Europe, European Union, Balkan countries, Baltic countries, Poland and the whole world."
Joining Max and Yuliia at Saturday's protest, Juliia – who asked not to share her last name for fear of her family still in Ukraine – shared a message for global leaders as well.
"I would like to ask the world and Europe Union to wake up," Juliia said. "I would like them to help Ukrainian in fight [against] Russian aggression. I would like them to protect democracy and the freedom of right."
Juliia spoke at Thursday's rally at the Capitol as well. On Friday, she shared her worries about her family and friends still in Ukraine.
"My families, my friends and my relatives are under the missile attack in the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv. They say right now are hiding in underground and subways to protect themselves from the missile attacks," Juliia said.
All three want to see more direct action from world leaders against Russia and shared that sentiment on Saturday. The rally started at 12 p.m. on Feb. 26 outside the Texas Capitol building.
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