Two years after the full-scale Russian attack on Ukraine, Lithuania rallied to shout loud that support for the attacked country must not wane. But it must continue stronger than ever.


Many events took place in all Lithuanian cities, not only on February 24, the day the attack was launched two years ago, but also throughout the entire week.


The largest rally took place in the capital Vilnius, in which Ukrainian refugees, many Lithuanian citizens, representatives of institutions and ambassadors of European countries, the United States, Canada, Japan and Moldova took part in.

It is no coincidence that phrases such as “Ukraine is fighting for us, for freedom and democracy of all of Europe”, which sometimes sound a bit rhetorical in some countries, are particularly heartfelt in Lithuania.

They are aware that if the Russian regime wins in Ukraine, they could be next. Only thirty years passed since they regained independence from the Soviet Union and the memory of what it means to be under Russian occupation is alive in people’s memories. Most Lithuanian families have relatives deported to Siberia, and many died in the gulags. The repression and suffering suffered re-emerged even stronger after February 24, 2022, which was a blow to the heart for the entire Lithuanian population.


The Lithuanian NGO Blue Yellow has been supporting Ukraine since the occupation of Crimea in 2014. Every year they raise money to support various projects, including purchasing and sending weapons to help Ukraine defend itself.

Even this year they launched the “RADAROM” campaign for the purchase of military equipment for soldiers at the front. A month of pounding campaign, on television, on the streets, in the shops. Everywhere.

On February 24, 2024, the campaign ended and reached eight million three hundred thousand euros, of which two million raised in three/four hours on Saturday, during the big concert that took place in Lukiškių Square. A symbolic square overlooking the former building that housed the KGB, the intelligence and security agency of the Soviet Union, and in the square where there was a large monument of Lenin. Symbol of the occupation, that statue was torn down on 23 August 1991. Another symbolic date: in 1939 the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was signed in which the USSR and Nazi Germany divided up part of Europe. Lithuania ended up in the orbit of the Soviet Union.


In the old town of Vilnius there is a monument to one of the most important Ukrainian poets: Taras Schevchenko. It is from there that the march for Ukraine started on the afternoon to remember the Russian attack.

Two huge flags of Ukraine and Lithuania, one hundred meters long each, traveled through the streets of the city up to the Cathedral Square. People joined the official celebration with the institutions and the Ambassadors resident in the country. Lithuania is the only European country that currently does not have a Russian ambassador, who was ousted just weeks after the full-scale invasion.

“Slava Ukraini”, Glory to Ukraine, followed by “Heroiam Slava”, Glory to Heroes, slogans against Putin, as well as the anthem of Ukraine were the soundtrack of the great rally. To which was added a touching and heartfelt “Ačiū Lietuva”, Thank you Lithuania, from the refugees.

Lithuania, considering its size and with a population of less than three million inhabitants, is one of the European countries supporting Ukraine the most. Militarily and economically. More than eighty thousand refugees arrived in the first months after the outbreak of the full-scale war and received a warm welcome from Lithuania. Financial and legal support, psychological support, Lithuanian courses, job. It is not uncommon to meet Ukrainians working in bars, shops, supermarkets, or as bus drivers, without yet knowing Lithuanian. A tag on the uniform, or a message at the entrance to shops, warns that those people may have difficulty understanding and speaking the local language.


After the official celebrations, the rally with the large flags, joined by the Belarusian one, reached the square where the concert of the NGO Blue Yellow would take place.

An hour of music and fundraising for the RADAROM campaign which would end at midnight. Despite the rain, which began to fall on the capital at a certain point in the evening, people remained there until the end with their phones in hand, ready to donate.

Eight million three hundred thousand euros. A result which, for those who know in depth this country, is not surprising and demonstrates the solidarity and empathy of an entire population who would like a more active and determined Europe in this struggle against authoritarian regimes and dictatorships.


Lithuania, rally for Ukraine-Anniversary full scale Russian war
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