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University of Southern Maine students protest in support of Ukraine

USM Ukraine Protest
University of Southern Maine students peacefully protest the occupation of Ukraine by Russia.

University of Southern Maine students gathered Saturday to stand in solidarity with Ukraine, hoisting blue and gold flags and holding signs criticizing Russia. They want Ukrainian students to know that they are not alone in their grief over the suffering of their people and the destruction of their homeland.

Laura St. Pierre, a senior at USM, says the Russian invasion and brutality shown towards Ukrainians is shocking. "USM students are out here to support anybody in this community who might be Ukrainian or even Russian and be feeling grief for this moment," she said.

The peaceful protest drew about two dozen students who say some Ukrainians attend school here. The protesters say their Ukrainian peers tell them that their families are safe, but they go days with no communication and continually worry for their families' safety.

Protest organizer Jason White says he hopes the U.S. does its part to help the refugees flooding out of the country. "We have to provide as much humanitarian aid to them as possible," he said. "I hope that Europe can support the refugees coming in."

White says he hopes a larger scale war can be avoided, and that world leaders continue to punish Putin for his brutality.

USM Ukraine Protest 2
USM students protest Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
USM Ukraine Protest 3
USM students in Portland hold Ukrainian flags to show solidarity with Ukraine.