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Two years into the conflict in Ukraine: Rochester residents pray for peace and remember



Rochester, New York – Neighbors came together to memorialize the souls lost at a nearby Ukrainian church as the war in Ukraine approaches its third year.

At St. Josaphat’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, neighbors gathered to celebrate those fighting for their freedom by lighting candles and showing support for one another.

Father Philp Weiner said he was humbled to observe this spectacle.

“It’s wonderful to know that people can come out, Ukrainians and non-Ukrainians can come and pray for a common cause for peace in Ukraine,” Weiner said.

Inside the sanctuary, where every row was occupied and there was only standing room, Father Weiner thanked everyone for the support he had seen coming from all across Rochester.

“They have overwhelmingly been gracious in supporting humanitarian aid in Ukraine and also as we experienced tonight, the spiritual humanitarian aid, the spiritual side of it,” Weiner said.

There will be difficulties since the Ukrainian soldiers who have held their ground require more supplies of ammunition, support, and equipment to carry on the war.

One important lesson from the documentary “War in Ukraine: A View Inside,” which had its world premiere at the Roc Academy of Medicine, was that.

In November 2022, Mikhail Gershteyn, the producer of the movie, visited troops in Ukraine.

“It’s a reminder to the American public that the war is not over. Many people think that the war is over just because it’s not covered as much in the news,” Gershteyn said.

According to Gershteyn, aiding Ukraine now is just as crucial as it was at the start of the conflict.

“After Russians didn’t conquer Ukraine in 3 days — 730 days, today 730 days later, Ukraine is still fighting,” Gershteyn said.

According to estimates from US officials, since the start of the conflict, there have been over 120,000 injuries and almost 70,000 deaths among the Ukrainian military.

More than 10,000 innocent civilians in Ukraine are estimated to have perished by the UN.
Irene Grassman, who was present at the St. Josaphat’s ceremony, expressed her hope that Americans would continue to support her native nation because of this.

“I understand we are such a good, good generous country, the United States, but we do have to help our brothers and sisters in other countries,” Grassman said.