On midday Saturday 16 July, over 600 people and a sea of blue and yellow are expected at a national rally to be held outside the Russian Embassy in Canberra to commemorate 8 years since the shooting down of MH17 and protest against the brutal, illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The rally will feature a short memorial prayer service, speeches by family members of Australians killed on MH17, and 298 empty chairs, including 80 with toys laid on them to represent the 80 children killed.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Centre in Turner, ACT, will open its doors to provide breakfast for interstate travellers, and will host a fundraising lunch after the rally, serving traditional Ukrainian borscht and other Ukrainian food.
Funds raised at the lunch will be donated to the Ukraine Crisis Appeal, a collaboration between the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO), Rotary Australia World Community Service, Caritas Ukraine and Kyiv Rotary. The funds will provide emergency and humanitarian aid to those devastated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“On this day, we will remember the innocent people, including 38 Australian citizens and residents, who lost their lives in July 2014 as a result of Russian military units shooting down flight MH17 over Ukraine. We will honour the victims’ relatives and friends, who continue to suffer pain and distress. We will also remember the millions of Ukrainians devastated by the impact of Russia’s full scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022,” said Stefan Romaniw, Co-Chair of the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO), and rally organiser.
“Russia’s war in Ukraine must be stopped. If not, there will only be more misery, violence and death,” he added.
8:00am – 11.30am Breakfast for interstate travellers at the Ukrainian Orthodox Centre – 6 McKay Gardens, Turner
12:00pm – Commemoration and protest at the Russian Embassy – 78 Canberra Ave, Griffith
2:30pm – Fundraiser Lunch for Ukraine – Ukrainian Orthodox Centre – 6 McKay Gardens, Turner