Crowds gather in San Francisco to support Ukrainians, demanding end to Russian invasion

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A pouring of support for Ukraine Sunday afternoon as hundreds rallied in front of San Francisco City Hall.

"I want to show the whole world how Ukraine is resisting right now. It's been four days and it's really unbearable there," said Sergii Kroshao, a Ukrainian Bay Area resident.


The father of 1-year-old twins said it all hits too close to home. "There are so many children there struggling and my parents are living very close to the children's hospital and yesterday a Russian missile reached it. It's very terrifying for me.

One speaker after another took to the stage, the crowd chanting, "Stop Putin. Stop Putin," with hopes of diplomacy diminishing.

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"Knowing Russia you cannot have talks, you cannot have diplomacy with a serial killer, you cannot trust them, their word is worthless," said Olena Kroshao.

Proud of their people for standing ground, but worried about what could come.

"We are really grateful to the Ukrainian military. They fight bravely." Igor Krivokon, a resident of Monterey Bay.

"They're doing an amazing job, but it's going to be difficult without the help of the world." Michael Khain, who was rallying alongside his who has family in Ukraine.

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The widespread support is meaningful, said many at the rally. "They're finally recognizing Ukraine and the job it's doing right now," said Evelina Khain.

The outpouring of support for Ukraine was carried all the way to the East Bay, where the Polish School put on a fundraiser in Walnut Creek Sunday.

"We want to do anything and everything we can in order to raise awareness and help these people out who've been left with nothing at this point," said Patryk Grobelny, a volunteer with the school.

"Having the support of everyone is important and yes everyone needs to hear this," said Evilena.

RELATED: Ways Bay Area residents can help support Ukraine

Since the attacks, San Francisco Ukrainian restaurant Pushkin has seen an uptick in business. ABC7 met a Ukrainian doctor who is currently in the U.S. on a resident visa, finishing his studies. He said being here, knowing what's happening in Ukraine, is taking a big toll on him.

"The first couple days, it was like - unable to get sleep. We were unable to eat at all and honestly, the first 2-3 days were totally not functional. It was really tough to go to work and to do what you were supposed to do, knowing that what's going on in your home country," said Yan Semenovskyi, M.D.

He and one of his fellow residents are doing their part to support Ukraine -- by asking hospitals to donate medical supplies. You can donate to the efforts on their Facebook fundraiser here.

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