Oksana Baiul Joins Other Las Vegas Residents to Show Unity with Ukraine

Home » Oksana Baiul Joins Other Las Vegas Residents to Show Unity with Ukraine

Posted on: March 3, 2022, 06:56h. 

Last updated on: March 3, 2022, 08:48h.

A series of heartfelt gestures and formal gatherings are underway in Southern Nevada to show solidarity for the Russian attack on the people and government of Ukraine. Famed ice skater Oksana Baiul is scheduled to appear at a 3 pm rally on Saturday at the steps of Las Vegas City Hall.

Las Vegas sign Ukraine colors
The iconic Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, pictured above. It is illuminated with blue and yellow. These are Ukraine’s colors. (Image: KSNV)

Baiul, an Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine turned pro ice skater who is now a Nevada resident, is among those planning to show up at Saturday’s “Rally for Peace in Ukraine,” reported KSNV, a local TV station.

She told the station she recently has been in contact with friends and loved ones in Ukraine. Some are seeking safety in bomb shelters.

“My first couple of days, I cried so much,” Baiul revealed to KSNV. “And I spoke to people in my country, and they were in shock… Nobody expected this to happen.”

Her friends in Ukraine told her to, “‘Please speak up. Because when you speak up and we see people around the world fighting for us, [it] brings so much energy to us,’” Baiul said.

Also, on Sunday, diverse religious leaders in northwestern Nevada will lead a candlelight vigil and offer prayers for peace and unity. Several events showing support with Ukraine already took place in Las Vegas.

For instance, last Saturday some 100 people showed up at a pro-Ukrainian rally off of Las Vegas Boulevard. It was called “Peaceful meeting against war in Ukraine.”

In addition, Evel Pie — a pizza restaurant located in downtown Las Vegas — poured Russian vodka onto the sidewalk. The restaurant held a fundraiser for the Red Cross by serving shots of Ukrainian vodka.

Also, starting this past Monday, the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign was lit up with Ukraine’s colors of blue and yellow.

UNLV Musician Appreciates Support for Ukraine

The various shows of support in Nevada mean a lot to one former Ukrainian resident: Taras Krysa, an associate professor and director of orchestras at UNLV. He recently was the music director of the Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra in Ukraine. Krysa’s ancestry is half Ukrainian and half Russian

Taras Krysa
Taras Krysa, an associate professor and director of orchestras at UNLV, pictured above. He was the music director of the Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra in Ukraine. He wants to see more support from NATO member nations, including the US, for Ukraine. (Image: UNLV)

He said he plans to perform concerts with the Las Vegas Sinfonietta and UNLV Symphony Orchestra featuring Ukrainian composers. “Hope to see people in attendance,” Krysa told Casino.org.

“But what Ukraine needs is arms and funds to finance the fight,” he explained. He would like to see NATO member nations, including the US, to set up a no-fly zone, provide air assistance, weapons, ammunition, and provide “boots on the ground or whatever actions [are] needed to stop Putin. I firmly believe if USA/NATO does not get involved now decisively, we will get sucked in later, with much higher human and economic cost.”

As he sent his thoughts in an email, Russian bombs and missiles were continuing to fall on the capital city of Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities. The assault is an attack on western values, he said.

“I know Ukraine will prevail eventually,” Krysa added. “Ukrainians are a talented and resilient people that have no ill will towards anyone. However, when bullied, Ukrainians will fight back.”

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