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Ukrainians rally in multiple cities, demand increased funding for Armed Forces

In Cherkasy, Odesa, and Dnipro, citizens gathered to express their frustration over recent funding for sports and advocated for more substantial support for the military.
Protests in Odesa. Photo: Dumska
Ukrainians rally in multiple cities, demand increased funding for Armed Forces

Protests demanding budget allocation for the Ukrainian Armed Forces took place in several cities, including Cherkasy, Odesa, and Dnipro, with residents expressing frustration over recent funding for sports, advocating for increased support for the military, and calling for resources to be directed toward defense efforts. These demonstrations are part of a series of ongoing actions across multiple cities, echoing citizens’ desire for budget prioritization amid the ongoing war.

In Cherkasy, participants of the demonstration gathered outside the municipal council building, demanding that the city’s elected representatives commit more budget resources to assist the military efforts of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The protesters expressed dismay over recent actions taken during the council’s last session, where substantial financial support, amounting to 1.5 million hryvnias (41,000 USD), was directed towards basketball, rather than national defense. Among the crowd, Artem Kivak, one of the event’s organizers, highlighted the citizens’ disappointment and their call for increased financial support for the military.

Protests in Cherkasy. Photo: Suspilne
Protests in Cherkasy. Photo: Suspilne

In Odesa, hundreds of residents assembled in front of the city hall, reiterating their demand that local budget funds be allocated to bolster the Ukrainian Armed Forces. They vocalized their sentiment through chants, with slogans like “All for victory,” “Priority to the Armed Forces,” and “Listen to the community, Mayor.” The demonstrators also displayed large banners bearing messages such as “Gena [mayor’s name], give our money to the Armed Forces” and “900 million for drones and electronic warfare equipment.”

акція в Одесі 21 жовтня, фото: Думська

Protests in Odesa. Photo: Dumska
Protests in Odesa. Photo: Dumska

The gathering in Odesa concluded with a moment of reflection and remembrance for the fallen defenders of Ukraine, with attendees joining together for a collective photograph on the steps of the city hall.

In Dnipro, the demonstration aimed at urging the municipal authorities to prioritize the needs of the military when utilizing budgetary resources. Demonstrators held placards with statements like “Not pavements but drones for the military,” “Money for the Armed Forces,” and other similar appeals.

It’s important to note that under the conditions of martial law, in Ukraine, the organization of peaceful gatherings, meetings, processions, and demonstrations, as well as sporting, educational, cultural, and entertainment events, requires special permission under exceptional circumstances and subject to written approval.

Nevertheless, these protests have emerged in various cities since early September, with citizens consistently calling for the allocation of budget funds to enhance the capabilities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The events reflect the public’s strong desire for financial prioritization to address the ongoing national defense needs amidst the backdrop of the ongoing war.

Citizens across Ukraine, including Kyiv and Odesa, are holding frequent demonstrations to urge authorities to allocate more budgetary resources to support the Ukrainian Armed Forces. These protests are part of a broader national trend. For example, in Kyiv on September 30th, around 200 protesters gathered outside Kyiv City Council, demanding a reallocation of budget funds to the military.

Protests in Kyiv, Sptember 30
Protests in Kyiv, September 30, 2023

Protesters carried banners and chanted slogans such as “Funds for the Ukrainian Armed Forces” and “Shame.” During these demonstrations, municipal representatives did not address the crowd. This has been the third such gathering in Kyiv, with prior gatherings on September 16th and 23rd, where one activist splashed red paint on the council building, resulting in his arrest.

In addition to advocating for military support, demonstrations have also called for the installation of ramps in shelters, hospitals, and educational institutions.

In response to these demonstrations, the Mayor of Kyiv, Vitaliy Klitschko, announced an extraordinary council session to address funding for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Similar protests have occurred in Lviv, Ternopil, and Odesa, demanding increased financial support for the military.

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