The Ukrainians are not giving up and are going to resist “with everything” the invasion of their land. That spirit, sadness and emotion reigned during yesterday’s concentration in the Plaza de España in Santa Cruz. Many country flags, banners and insults against Putin, the center of all anger, rather than against the Russians.
Rejection of war and resistance to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The two ideas mark the concentration of the thousand people who responded yesterday to the call of the Ukrainian community on the Island to protest in the Plaza de España in Santa Cruz. Many were members of the colony in Tenerife –there are about 1,500 registered on the Island–, settled mainly in the South. But there were also canaries, like the mayor of the capital of Tenerife, José Manuel Bermúdez, the only authority present; and Georgians, Estonians, Lithuanians or Slovaks. Their flag represents them, like the yellow and blue (wheat and sky) of the invaded. Even Russians opposed to their president. Vladimir Putin was the center of anger and insults. From “assassin” or “terrorist” to comparing him to Hitler. More than his nationals, because Russians and Ukrainians have a common past from their own origin.
The Ukrainian national anthem, sung twice, centered the moments of greatest intensity»
It was a morning full of banners and slogans for peace, against war and with Putin as the target. Also traditional music, improvised speakers and war cries. From Glory to Ukraine to They Will Not Pass (in Spanish).
“I am very grateful for your actions to the Russians who do not want war and go out to demonstrate”
Alina Ratman comes from the South, where she has lived for ten years. She thanks her bravery to the Russians who take to the streets to oppose the invasion. She says she is “very sad” but sure that “Putin is going to lose.”
“We are going to defeat Putin and thus end the largest terrorist state in the world”
Mikhail Del Campo Sopinski, 15 years old, Spanish father and Ukrainian mother. He studies in Adeje. He sees it as “horrible”, but “we are going to defeat Putin to end the greatest terrorist regime in the world”.
Volodimir – like President Zielinski – works as a bricklayer in the South and has lived on the Island since 2001. He recounts: “When my wife called me at dawn, I couldn’t believe it. Never thought about it”.
“When my wife, who is there, called me and told me they were attacking, I couldn’t believe it”
Entrepreneur Alexei Krylov is Russian and rejects the invasion. He assures that “the most moral, most intelligent and most knowledgeable part” of his country is against this war. He feels “like the Germans opposed to Hitler.” Vita Timofeeva ratifies it: «I am a clinical psychologist, I contact 5,000 people on the networks, most of them Russians, and they do not want war».
“Putin is not my president and I feel like the Germans against Hitler”
They are families with children, young and old, men and women who are here. Katerina is a babushka (grandmother) who did not want to miss it at 76 years old. She is accompanied by her daughter Oksana and her grandson Pavel. Three generations of Ukrainians in Tenerife firm in the defense of their country. Like 44 million compatriots. One guy says that “nine out of ten of my friends have signed up to fight.” If he could, he would already be there. The vice president of the first association of Ukrainians in the Canary Islands, Oberig (talisman), is Dmytro Shatruk. He asks Spaniards and Canarians to support and asks Europe to help the army.
Those present experienced two special moments when they sang the national anthem, Ukraine is not dead yet. The refrain of it says: «The soul and the body we will sacrifice for our freedom». The call from Ukraine.