„Unity is our greatest strength. As long as we are together, no evil forces can divide us and destroy our firm bonds. No matter where we are – in Ukraine or Lithuania, we all have to put every effort into bringing our Victory closer, and even simple compassion for each other can make a difference. And if such a genuine and reliable friend as Lithuania stands along with us in this severe battle for our common peaceful future, I have no doubts – we are fated to win,“ says Ukrainian Ambassador to Lithuania Petro Beshta.
The Ukrainians who shared their experiences at the event agree that communication with their compatriots is extremely important and necessary. At the same time, they feel grateful for the warm welcome they received from Lithuanians.
„It was painful to leave Ukraine and my relatives so as to protect my children from the war. What I found here touched me deeply. I did not expect such support, sincere help and assistance from Lithuanians. I will never forget this indescribable feeling for the rest of my life,“ says Anna, who arrived in Lithuania from Kyiv two months ago with her two children.
„Since the very beginning of the war, we have been passionate about Ukraine’s fight for independence and freedom. Seeing up close the experiences of children, women, the elderly, and men left behind, and we are trying to find ways to help in any way we can. With this event, we want to give Ukrainians at least a piece of the sense of home that they have now lost – to create an opportunity for a simple, sincere conversation, a smile, and the birth of new friendships. I believe and hope that what we have created will last and that the sense of togetherness, the pride of Ukrainians in their country and their compatriots, will only strengthen the fighting spirit that has inspired and amazed the whole world since the beginning of the war,“ said Arūnas Martinkevičius, president of the SBA Group.
On Saturday afternoon, those gathered in Unity Square were treated to Ukrainian compositions performed by Kseniya Bakhritdinova-Kravchuk, a soloist of the Ukrainian National Opera. She was accompanied by Darius Mažintas, a laureate of international competitions, who impressed the world when he played the piano at the Irpin Cultural Centre in Ukraine, which has been bombed by the occupiers. Three pianists from Kharkiv, studying at the VDU Academy of Music in Kaunas, performed works by Chopin and Paganini. Elizaveta Izmalkova, the host of the event and a singer studying musical theatre at Vilnius College of Music, performed works by Ukrainian and foreign artists, which lifted the spirit of the audience. Everyone was fascinated by a dance prepared specially for the event by 170 Ukrainian pupils of the Herojaus School.
Red Cross volunteers provided the Ukrainians with information on where to go for help with settling in, paperwork or employment in Lithuania. Children were entertained by animators, and people were treated to coffee, snacks, ice cream, and doughnuts.