NEW BRITAIN — The half-mile travel from St. Josaphat’s Church to Central Connecticut State University had to seem like zero for Dozia Bystrinyk.
A half-century earlier, Bystrinyk and her family left war-torn Ukraine after training Josef Stalin was prepared to send them to Siberia. The trek took them from Ivano-Frankivsk to Czechoslovakia, afterwards to Germany, into a displaced-persons stay and on to Belgium. Finally, in 1951, they done it to a U.S. and eventually staid in Ansonia.
“I was 12 years aged when we left,” pronounced Bystrinyk, now 81 and vital in Orange. “I am an American, though we still feel for my nation and a people. we was there in August.”
So she walked a half-mile Wednesday, opposite ice-covered sidewalks and in a highway as cars whizzed by. Accompanying her were associate local Ukrainians and Orange residents Maria Antonyshyn and Dusia Popel.
The contingent stood in a frozen cold atop sleet and mud, assimilated by scarcely 120 other Ukrainian-Americans anticipating President Barack Obama would locate a glance of their signs.
Antonyshyn’s pointer read, “Mr. President Thank You Very Much for Helping Ukraine.”
Other signs, like a one hold by Gloria Horbaty, before of Newtown and a boss of a Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, New England chapter, were some-more blunt. Hers review “Stop Putin — The Next Hitler.”
For scarcely 4 hours they stood outward a auditorium where Obama spoke, not about Ukraine, though about lifting a smallest wage. As they waited, they sang a Ukrainian inhabitant anthem, they waved some-more than a dozen blue and yellow flags and they praised their “Heavenly Hundred” — a ones massacred while demonstrating in Kiev’s Independence Square.
“The patriots stood 3 months in a frozen cold in Maidan (Independence Square),” pronounced Al Kuzma, of a Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation. “The slightest we could do is mount here for a few hours.”
So they stood. Young people like Andrea Kolinsky, of Newington, and a not-so-young like Bystrinyk, Antonyshyn and Popel. They came from circuitously New Britain and Hartford, and from as distant divided as Newtown and Oxford, where Bill Platosz lives.
“We were collected to uncover a support for Ukraine,” Platosz pronounced later. “I do consider that a mercantile sanctions will have an impact.”
At their rally, a Ukrainian-Americans’ voices fought for atmosphere space; infrequently they meshed with other demonstrators anticipating to lean a president. There were Hispanics perfectionist an finish to deportation, chanting, “Obama, Obama Don’t Deport My Mama.” There were environmentalists, shouting, “Stop a Keystone Pipeline.”
There were even competing groups decrying or ancillary a minimum-wage increase.
“This is what democracy sounds like,” pronounced Charles Button, a CCSU highbrow who was heading a environmentalists in chants. “We’re assimilated together, compelling opposite issues that will have opposite impacts on a lives.”
But a Ukrainians seemed to be a largest and a longest-lasting.
“We all caring so most about a reserve of a friends and kin in Ukraine,” pronounced Stephen Paproski, of Newtown, who with his wife, Diana, hosts an annual late-summer Ukrainian festival on their farm.
“This shows a boss that we are a vast community, a clever village … anticipating to move recognition to a vicious predicament holding place in Ukraine,” his mother added.
And so they chanted: “Siberia for Putin, Freedom for Ukraine;” “Putin Go Home, Leave Crimea Alone;” and “Slava Ukraini.”
“We are here to keep a predicament in Ukraine in a spotlight,” pronounced Hope Langer-Marshall, of Plainville. She likened Putin’s Crimea squeeze to Mexico invading Texas to strengthen a people vital there.
Few got in to hear Obama.
Ivan Kebalo, who left Lviv for America in 1990, did. He hoped to hear Obama during slightest residence a Ukrainian crisis, though that did not happen. Instead, he said, a boss focused on a minimum-wage increase.
Still, Kebalo was heartened during a media coverage a Ukrainian convene perceived outside.
“This assures a people in Ukraine that their American brothers and sisters are assimilated with them,” Kebalo said, adding that they will see this on a news channels. “Putin can fake he doesn’t care, though he’s scared.”
Wednesday’s convene was zero new for a state’s scarcely 80,000 people of Ukrainian descent. Over a past 3 weeks, they hosted U.S. Rep. Joseph Courtney, D-Conn., during a Ukrainian National Home of Willimantic and U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., during St. Josaphat. In New Haven, initial U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and afterwards U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, both D-Conn., met with groups during St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church during 569 George St. This Sunday, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., is scheduled to be there to pronounce about a sanctions designed for Putin and Russia following a 10:30 a.m. Mass.
“We’re anticipating to classify a rite with a Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches,” Kuzma said. “We’re not going to stop. We will keep carrying meetings until Russian infantry are out of Ukraine.”
And Ukrainian-Americans like Bystrinyk, Antonyshyn and Dusia Popel will keep going.
On Thursday, a contingent devise to be adult before morning to locate one of a 4 6 a.m. buses withdrawal St. Vladimir’s Cathedral in Stamford. Their end is Washington, D.C., where a convene is to start outward a White House and impetus to a Russian Consulate. They design to be assimilated by hundreds some-more from Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.
“I will have to make a new pointer tonight,” pronounced Antonyshyn, who arrived in a U.S. in 1947. “How do we like `Putin Go Home’ “? she asked Bystrinyk and Popel.