Split Mayor Ivica Puljak said he hoped the aggression would end soon and that the Ukrainian people would get back their peace and freedom.
He said Ukrainian refugees were arriving in Split and that the city was in contact with all state institutions organising their reception. “We will do everything to help.”
Among the protesters was Croatian MEP Željana Zovko, who said representatives of the European People’s Party group visited the Vatican yesterday to discuss what the Holy See could do for peace in Ukraine.
She said Croats had been through a war and refugee experience similar to Ukrainians’.
“Croats will do all they can through the European Parliament and the European Commission to help Ukraine,” Zovko said, adding that Europe has never been so united. “This war in Ukraine is evil and it must stop.”
The rally in Split was organised by the Cvit association of the Ukrainian national minority in Dalmatia.
Protesters carried the flags of Ukraine and Croatia as well as banners which said “Stop Putin”, “Stop War” and “Glory to Ukraine”, and chanted “Glory to Ukraine” and “Long live Ukraine”.
Viktorija Balan of Cvit said “Ukraine is now fighting for the democracy of the whole world, against a regime which wants to destroy democracy.”
Protest in Vukovar
Some 15 citizens of Vukovar protested in the centre of the town, carrying the flags of Ukraine and Croatia and asking for the Russian aggression and the war in Ukraine to stop.
“There will be no winner. Only innocent people are dying on both sides. I fought in (Croatia’s) Homeland War and know how they feel. Our national minority will try to help in this crisis as much as it can,” said Stefan Bojko, president of the Ukrainian Culture and Education Society Ivan Franko from Vukovar.
“In this situation Croatia has taken a friendly stand towards the Ukrainian people,” he said, adding that about 20 Ukrainian refugees are accommodated in Vukovar-Srijem County.
Slavonski Brod shows solidarity with Ukrainian people
Dozens of Slavonski Brod residents rallied in the main square to show solidarity with the citizens of Ukraine.
“By coming to this rally, you are showing support to a people that is part of Europe, a people from whom someone wants to take its land, peace, children, future,” said Vlado Karešin, president of the Ukrainian Community in Croatia.
About 200 members of the Ukrainian national minority live in Brod-Posavina County. About 20 Ukrainian refugees have found shelter with relatives and friends there.
“It’s difficult to talk about what is happening in Ukraine. I’m overcome by emotion when I remember the Homeland War and how we left our wives and children before going to defend Croatia. The Ukrainian people is going through the same thing today,” said Nikola Zastrižni, president of the Ukrainian Culture and Education Society Ukrajina from Slavonski Brod.
“At the same time, I’m furious because I can’t understand that this is happening in the 21st century, in the civilised Europe and world when we all have our rights,” he added, calling for the return of peace and an end to the bombing of Ukrainian cities and villages.
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