Gov. Cox, Lt. Gov. Henderson and other officials stand in solidarity with Ukraine

Gov. Spencer J. Cox praised the courage and patriotism of Ukrainians in the face of Russian aggression and asked Utahns to support Ukraine during a rally at the Utah State Capitol this evening. 

“The assault on Ukraine has exposed Vladimir Putin for what he is — a brutal dictator hell-bent on forcing his will upon another sovereign nation without provocation,” Gov. Cox said in a statement. “Tonight, as Utahns and as Americans, we stand united against oppression. We stand united for democracy. We stand united for freedom for Ukraine.”

He also emphasized that this is Putin’s war and urged the world not to retaliate against innocent Russian people.

“Many innocent lives are at stake, those who have fled Ukraine, those who have stayed fighting for freedom, and innocent Russians who live abroad as well as those who live in Russia under Putin’s repressive regime,” Gov. Cox said. “We pray for them all tonight.”

Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, Senate President J. Stuart Adams, House Speaker Brad Wilson, Rep. Jordan Teuscher and Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall also spoke before the crowd of an estimated 2,000 people. Fr. Anthony Savas of St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church, Rabbi Sam Spector of Congregation Kol Ami offered prayers, and a Ukrainian woman named Anna offered an impromptu prayer in Ukrainian. Vlada Yaramenko, Dallyn Bayles and Yahosh Bonner performed musical numbers. The flag of Ukraine flew above the east side of the state Capitol, freeway signs changed to “Utah Stands with Ukraine,” and state universities and private businesses throughout the state showed their support by projecting yellow and blue lights on buildings and outdoor features.