On February 24, 2022, Russian troops invaded Ukraine. 365 days later, the fight has not ceased and the world continues to call for an end to the offensive. The city of Porto maintains solidarity with the Ukrainian people who took over from the first day and, this Friday, went out to give them a voice. After a concert in front of the Coliseu do Porto, promoted by the initiative “Uma semente pela paz” (A seed for peace), hundreds of people paraded to Praça Humberto Delgado, gathering in front of the Town Hall illuminated in blue and yellow.
“Slava Ukraini!”. “Thank you, Portugal!” In Ukrainian and Portuguese, the various appeals for peace were heard from Rua Passos Manuel. From the facade, the Coliseu opened to a civic and artistic mobilization in memory of those who fight, those who fled, those who resist and those who have died since the beginning of the Russian invasion.
Singer Ana Deus was the first to give voice to solidarity and recalled how “today is a year since the war that involves us all began”. Also allied to this action, promoted by the Coliseu do Porto, Best Youth dedicated their performance “to those who see their childhood stolen by war”.
In an emotional moment for Ukrainians who have been welcomed in the city and in the region, Irina Horbatyuk made the song “that announces the independence of Ukraine” heard. The Ukrainian singer made a point of thanking the support of the people of Porto and “everything that has already been done” for their people.
Before reciting “Natal de 45”, a poem by Jorge de Sena, which says “Oppressed peoples and peoples / believers die of a peace / of the same promised once and by torn pledge. /Men die when they dream more!”, actor Pedro Lamares gave space to the spontaneous moment that echoed “Chervona Kalyna”, the traditional Ukrainian song. It was “through the voice of the poets” that he chose to speak of “the delusional brutality of what is happening”.
“The beginning of the world has now begun/ The seed will be fruit for life outside”. The song “Que o amor te salve nesta noite escura” written by Pedro Abrunhosa. Sitting at the piano from the facade of the Coliseu, and calling for Porto to illuminate the world, the Porto singer put thousands of people chanting Leonard Cohen's “Hallelujah”, “with the thought of all those who have died in this unjust war”.
The parade, started by the Mayor of Porto, next to the chief consul of Ukraine in Porto, Alina Ponomarenko, went to Praça Humberto Delgado, where the Ukraine anthem was heard singing in front of the building of the Town Hall illuminated with the colours of the Ukrainian flag.
Blue and yellow also dressed that night, in the renewed Fonte dos Leões, in Praça Gomes Teixeira. A bit like the whole town.
To the many people who joined the solidarity of Porto, alongside the councillors Fernando Paulo and Catarina Araújo, as well as the Presidente of the Municipal Assembly, Sebastião Feyo de Azevedo, Rui Moreira left the message: “today we celebrate your resistance, your courage. Today we feel that you are Porto People and we are all Ukrainians”.
The Municipality of Porto has shown its solidarity with the Ukrainian people since the beginning of the invasion, having promoted, together with Vila Nova de Gaia and Matosinhos, the “Somos Todos Ucrânia” action that, among other actions, organized the transport of several trucks with donated goods to different cities on the border with Poland.