Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine last month, residents of Seattle have rallied in protest of the war. On March 19, protesters marched from Seattle City Hall to Seattle Center to show solidarity with Ukraine.
Last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a direct plea to congress for the U.S. to enact a no-fly zone over Ukraine to combat Russian airpower.
A Reuters poll conducted earlier this month saw bipartisan public support for closed skies as 74% of Americans said the “United States and its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) should impose a no-fly zone in Ukraine.”
Washington state Rep. Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, attended the rally and spoke to the demonstrators. “Rallies like this are incredibly important,” he said. “Having media in Ukraine to bear witness to these atrocities, to these war crimes, which have been committed against the Ukrainian people, is crucial. We can not let the world forget what is happening.”
Smith also touched on more direct aid to the Ukrainian people, “As a Chair of the House Armed Services Committee, I am working closely with the administration of all our allies to get military and humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian people. … Today, there is a discussion of getting a Turkey S400 to help with service air missile support. If we get the Ukrainians the weapons they need, we know they will fight, we know they will win.”
One protester in the crowd responded to the Smith’s words about weapons and shouted, “Not enough! This is not enough! Close the sky! We need to close the sky.”
To this, Smith replied, “It is an important point. I do not want to be dishonest with you and what the United States government is doing. We are committed to supporting Ukraine. The sanctions against Russia and weapons sent to Ukraine are beyond everything anybody expected.”
He continued, “But, we do not want NATO to go to war with Russia and start World War III. We provide the maximum we can — weapons, including fighter planes, service air missiles — all the weapons that Ukraine needs. We want to focus on what we can do to help the Ukrainian people.”
Veronika is a student from Seattle Central College, an International Student Ambassador, and a member of the Editorial Board of Seattle Collegian. She loves to cook Ukrainian dumplings, travel in the Pacific states, read E.Hemingway, listen to The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. Veronika is pursuing her degree in web development. Her goal is to own her own business and financially contribute to Seattle Colleges Foundations to support low-income international students. While being a member of Seattle Collegian, Veronika is eager to share her own experience of living, visiting, working, and studying in foreign countries.