An umbrella group calling itself “Rhode Islanders for Ukraine” announced a vigil in support of the Eastern European nation, now fighting against an invasion by Russia, to be held Saturday, March 26, at 4pm on the south side of the RI State House, “to pray and raise financial support for humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine. This is a bipartisan effort with neighbors representing many of the world’s religions coming together in a moment of unity to encourage not only peace for Ukraine but also assist in supporting the tremendous number of refugees in their plight.”
The poster circulated by the group includes a QR code to a donation link for humanitarian relief via UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) USA: unicefusa.org/stories/unicef-children-crossfire-ukraine-crisis/39542?form=FUNCZQQBUQH&fundraiser=NYYESSQW
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported 3.7 million people forced by the war to flee to neighboring countries, primarily Poland and Romania, as of Mar 23 daily data. The UN International Office for Migration reported 6.5 million people internally displaced as of Mar 21, forced by the war to abandon their homes seeking refuge elsewhere within the country. Ukraine has a total population of 42 million, not counting 2 million in the Crimea and Sevastopol regions invaded and annexed by Russia in 2014.
This vigil is separate from, and could be interpreted as opposing, the weekly demonstration held on the opposite side of the State House at the same time that advocates for a strictly pacifist view, including dismantling NATO and stopping military aid to Ukraine.