By Ward 6 Councillor Richard J. Serino
For the past week, we have all watched in horror as the unthinkable has unfolded. For no clear reason other than a quest to re-establish the Soviet Union, an unhinged Russia has invaded its sovereign neighbor Ukraine, triggering a global threat not seen in generations, and killing civilians, including children, and military personnel in Ukraine.
We have all seen the images of people – young children to the elderly – hunkering down deep underground in subway stations as air raid sirens sound. We have seen children sobbing saying goodbye to their fathers as women and children evacuate the country, mothers carrying children to safety who aren’t even their own, and people carrying their pets to ensure they are not left behind. We watched in shock as a Russian military tank stormed over a civilian vehicle, entrapping the elderly driver. We saw nurses having to evacuate infants from hospital NICUs, and crowded train stations and highways as people have sought to escape to Poland, Hungary and neighboring countries.
We have also seen the incredible images of a resolute, patriotic people. The Ukrainians have given us all a lesson in courage and determination over the course of this week in their defiant resistance. Leaders like President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Mayor of Kyiv, and former President Petro Poroshenko, who are not hiding in bunkers, but who are fighting among their people to protect their sovereign independence and democracy. The lawyers, teachers and grandmothers who have gathered in parks with household items to build Molotov cocktails to defend their families and their homes. To people like 30-year-old Mayor Bogdan Kelichavyi, who along with members of his City Council in Kopychyntsi have established shifts to stay awake and keep up with the latest to alert his town of 13,000 people to any potential attacks. We have seen bravery in a Ukrainian soldier who took his own life in blowing up a bridge so Russian troops couldn’t advance beyond his post and the sailors on Snake Island who instead of surrendering, told Russian troops off.
We have seen how the Ukrainians are single-handedly fending off Russian troops, and are commendably holding their ground. As the Ukrainian national anthem states: “Ukraine’s freedom has not yet perished; nor has her glory… Upon us, fellow Ukrainians, fate shall smile once more… And we too shall rule … in a free land of our own. We’ll lay down our souls and bodies to attain our freedom…”
The Revere City Council is a local government body across the world from where these current events are taking place, and as such, we do not have the authority to do anything tangible that will ease this situation. However, we can use our voice and our platform to let our Ukrainian-American residents know that we stand with them in solidarity, and that we, not only as Councillors, but as Americans who believe in democracy and the right to live in a free society, and more importantly as human beings, recognize that what’s going on in Ukraine is immoral and wrong. And, on the same token, to show that average citizens and local leaders in the United States stand with the Ukrainian people, and that we admire them for their tenacity and for sticking to their convictions.
I am proud and appreciative that my colleagues unanimously voted to adopt the following resolution affirming support for Ukrainian sovereignty, the people of Ukraine, and their right to self-determination:
Whereas, we the undersigned members of the Revere City Council recognize that Ukraine is a proud and honorable democratic nation under siege, and the brutality of this unnecessary and violent war is an affront to both international law and common decency;
Whereas, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Ukrainian people voted overwhelmingly to form a nation independent from Russia, building a democracy and a thriving country grounded in the rule of law while choosing to live peacefully in an open and free society, and
Whereas, the Russian Federation has launched an unjust and unwarranted invasion upon the peaceful nation of Ukraine; and
Whereas, the Russian Federation is currently inflicting violence and terror upon millions of Ukrainian civilians and destroying homes, businesses, daycares, and other properties, while forcing hospitals to evacuate with vulnerable patients and average citizens – including children – to seek shelter deep underground in train stations for days on end; and
Whereas, a threat to the sovereign borders of Ukraine is a threat to all Western Democracies; and
Whereas, our beloved city is home to many who have sought a better life in the United States of America due to unrest in other countries around the world, including many Eastern-Europeans; therefore be it
Resolved that we the undersigned members of the Revere City Council stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine in their fight against Russian oppression, aggression, and annexation; and, be it further
Resolved that we also stand in support of our Ukrainian-American friends and neighbors who are residents of the City in Revere and who might, themselves, have family and friends who remain in Ukraine during these uncertain times; and, be it further
Resolved that the City Clerk forward a copy of this Resolution to the Embassy of Ukraine at 3350 M St NW in Washington, DC; and, be it further
Resolved that the City Clerk forward a copy of this Resolution to the City of Revere’s Federal Delegation.