“It’s not the problems of Ukrainians, it’s problems of the whole world:” Ukrainians Stand in Support of Zelenskyy Outside U.N. Headquarters

The Svitanok NYC group outside of the U.N. Headquarters.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described the Russian attacks on his nation as “clearly a genocide” on Tuesday in an address to national leaders at the United Nations building in New York.

Zelenskyy addressed a variety of topics at the annual General Assembly, but he honed in on the damage Russia’s attacks have left on Ukraine and how it has the power to impact more than just Ukrainians.

“Children in Russia are taught to hate Ukraine and all ties with their families are broken and this is clearly a genocide. When hatred is weaponized against one nation, it never stops there,” Zelenskyy said. “The main thing is that it is not only about Ukraine.”

With this statement, Zelenskyy said that Russia’s attacks have the power to expand to different countries across the world.

As Zelenksyy spoke, several streets surrounding the U.N. Headquarters in Midtown East were blocked off. That didn’t stop hundreds of people from protesting on the outskirts of the building.

Svitanok NYC, a Ukrainian protest-group, stood outside of 47th Street and Second Avenue, one of the busiest intersections near the headquarters.

What looked like a sea of blue and yellow was a small group of public activists chanting “Stand with Ukraine” and waving signs condemning the recent acts from Russia.

Vsevolod, a 34-year-old Ukrainian activist who moved to the United States in 2021, joined the Svitanok NYC group that organizes weekly protests and rallies to raise awareness of the troubles his home country is facing.

Similar to Zelenskyy’s integral message, Vsevolod believes the ongoing issues in Ukraine don’t just affect his community – they have the power to affect the entire world.

“Problems in Ukraine, it’s not the problems of Ukrainians. It’s problems of whole world because if you let terrorists keep doing what they do, they can scale it on other countries,” he said.

He believes American support in the form of monetary donations and weapons allocations can help finish the war. The magnitude of the attacks on Ukraine are more thanis not just a war to Ukrainians like Vsevolod.

“It’s like genocide,” he said, “and that’s why we should get more support, sending support to Ukraine and sending weapons to Ukraine and weapons for Ukraine means faster solving this conflict.”

Last month, Biden requested an additional $24 billion for the war in Ukraine from Congress, totaling the aid for Ukraine up to $135 billion.

Over $10 billion of this funding went directly to bolster Ukraine’s military capabilities. Additional funds have been allocated to humanitarian aid, the Ukrainian government, U.S. military forces in the country, and the U.S. government, according to a calculation from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

U.S. President Joe Biden vowed to stand with Ukraine “for as long as it takes,” Shalanda Young, director of the United States Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a letter to the House of Representatives.

Biden’s stern stance has polarized members of the Democratic and Republican parties; meanwhile, Americans differ on what they consider is too much support for Ukraine, or not enough.

A recent CNN poll shows 53 percent of Americans disagree with the way Biden is administering the situation in Ukraine, while 45 percent approve.

55 percent of Americans do not think Congress should grant additional funding to aid Ukraine in its war against Russia.

However, the polls are very close in deciding whether the United States should do more to stop Russian military actions in Ukraine, with 48 percent deciding the country should do more and 51 percent deciding the nation has already done enough .

David Broadwell, a former New York City police officer, opposes the average American. After 27 years of public service, Broadwell views the events happening in Ukraine as an opportunity to help those in need, regardless of the price.

“What’s the cost of one human life? There is no cost. I think we should do as much as we can for this country as possible,” Broadwell said.

Although he is American, Broadwell joined the Svitanok group as a mere supporter and admirer of Ukraine. After visiting the country several times with his girlfriend, Alina, who is from Ukraine, he gained a deep admiration for the country and stood alongside Ukrainians to bring attention to the ongoing invasion.

John Suarez, the executive director of Center for a Free Cuba, shared similar sentiments in support of assisting Ukraine. Suarez looked at the current support to Ukraine from other countries, especially the United States, as a way to prevent further conflict that could draw the U.S. military into the dispute.

“I think that supporting Ukraine prevents the conflict becoming much more dangerous and involving US troops on the ground facing off with Russian troops,” Suarez said. “I think that’s the situation we want to avoid and helping Ukraine as a way to avoid it.”

His main purpose was to represent his organization at the General Assembly.

Suarez publicized a petition with over 2,200 signatures calling for Cuba’s expulsion from the U.N. Human Rights Council and called on the White House to apply Magnitsky sanctions- sanctions against foreign individuals who committed abuse against human rights or have involvement in large corruption- against Cuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel.

17 people were arrested by Cuban authorities earlier this month on charges connected to a group of human traffickers that allegedly lured young Cuban men to serve in the Russian military.

“The Russians have been committing crimes against humanity,” Suarez said. “We’re outraged now that Cuban troops are being used in that for that purpose.”

To conclude his address, Zelenskyy assured that with help, Ukraine has a chance of ending aggression against the besieged nation with full restoration of the territory and sovereignty.

“Ukraine is doing everything to ensure after Russian aggression, no one in the world will dare to attack any nation,” Zelenskyy said.


“For the first time in modern history we have a real chance to end the aggression on the terms of the nation which was attacked,” Zelenskyy said, “This is a real chance for every nation to ensure that aggression against your state, if it happens God forbid, will end not because your land will be divided and you will be forced to submit to military of political pressure, but because your territory and sovereignty will be fully restored.”