SJ City Hall illuminated in Ukrainian colors, city leader looks to cut ties with Russian Sister City

Monday, February 28, 2022
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- San Jose City Hall was glowing yellow and blue on Monday night, as the building was illuminated with the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

Other iconic landmarks across the Bay Area and beyond have done the same to display solidarity recently.

"I think this support is valuable. It's important," was how Igor Markov with the South Bay non-profit Nova Ukraine described this latest display of support for the people of Ukraine.

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"This definitely helps Ukrainians to be stronger," he added.

The city made the change on Monday, in an effort that was originally proposed by Councilman David Cohen.

"I think everybody was on board with the idea that this was an important enough moment in history to show that we stand with the people of Ukraine," Councilman Cohen told ABC7 News.

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The lights are meant to be a show of solidarity. It's a message of support to the more than 4,000 Ukrainians who live in the capital of Silicon Valley.

According to Markov, it's also a significant showing on the world stage.

"Companies like Intel and AMD and Nvidia, they've already stopped sending chips to Russia," Markov shared. "Without electronics, as you can imagine, Russia will be back to the Stone Age."

Councilwoman Sylvia Arenas announced Monday, she wants to take that a step further. Arenas is pushing to end San Jose's Sister City relationship with Russia's fourth largest city.

"It's symbolic in nature," she added. "As we haven't had a very active Sister City relationship with Russia and Ekaterinburg."

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Arenas added, ending San Jose's formal diplomatic relationship with the Russian city's municipal government sends a clear message.

She said San Jose must stand up when another country is being violated and terrorized.

"We can't hold this Sister City relationship because of these things, and we must end it," Arenas told ABC7 News.

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San Jose isn't the only in the Bay Area with a Russian Sister City. According to the U.S.-Russia Chamber of Commerce, Oakland, Livermore and Santa Clara County have overseas counterparts as well.

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