Anastasia Zudlova, who helped organize the event, outside the Del Mar Theatre on Sunday.
(Dan Evans / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Santa Cruz

‘It’s the families of your neighbors’: Group protests Ukraine war in downtown Santa Cruz

More than a dozen people gathered outside the Del Mar Theatre in downtown Santa Cruz on Sunday afternoon to protest the war in Ukraine — an invasion of the country and former Soviet republic by Russian military forces.

The last-minute assembly was inspired by demonstrations in San Francisco in the past week.

Anastasia Zudlova, who was at the protest in San Francisco on Thursday, grew up in Ukraine and has lived in Live Oak for the past two years. She organized the local event with Kseniya Yumasheva, a UC Santa Cruz graduate, Saturday evening.

People here don’t understand how close the war is to those around them, she said.

“It’s the families of your neighbors who are being bombed,” Zudlova said.

Yumasheva said the point of the demonstration is to shake people awake.

“It’s amazing that people can go about their day and not acknowledge what’s going on,” she said.

And Aliona Konvai — holding a sign that read “You Kraine” — said she attended because “It’s my country. It’s my home.”

“My friends are sleeping in bomb shelters and have been for the last four days,” she said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin might have thought he was going to divide the country, Konvai said, “but he united it.”

Aliona Konvai stands with a cardboard sign outside the Del Mar Theatre on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022.
(Dan Evans / Lookout Santa Cruz)