VIDEO RELEASE: In Twilight Solidarity Vigil, Governor Hogan Pledges Continued Support for the People of Ukraine
ANNAPOLIS, MD—To show support for the Ukrainian people as they fight for their country and their lives, Governor Larry Hogan held a solidarity vigil tonight at Lawyers Mall in Annapolis.
The governor was joined by First Lady Yumi Hogan; Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Ukraine Yaroslav Brisiuck; Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford; Senate President Bill Ferguson; House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones; Rev. Dr. Volodymyr Steliac, pastor of St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Silver Spring; and Rev. Vasyl Sivinskyi, pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Baltimore.
Over the weekend, the governor announced the termination of Maryland’s sister state relationship with the Leningrad Region of Russia, which was first established in 1993.
The governor directed state agencies to review any and all contracts, procurements, and holdings that may have ties to Russian entities, and called on the board of trustees of the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System to take immediate divestment actions with regards to investments, securities, or holdings with Russian or Russia-affiliated entities.
On Monday, the governor also took part in a special prayer service at St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church.
Following are the governor’s remarks as prepared for delivery:
We come together tonight to show support for the brave people of Ukraine as they fight for their country, for their freedom, and for their very lives.
It has now been one very long week since a full-scale military assault was launched on the people of Ukraine. This unprovoked aggression is a grievous attack on the right of sovereign nations and of free people to choose their own destiny. It cuts at the very heart of our values as Americans, and the values of freedom-loving people all across the world.
The State of Maryland stands in solidarity with Ukraine and against this aggression from Putin, and we join the rest of the free world in seeing this attack for the evil that it is.
Tonight, as we lift up the people of Ukraine with our prayers, they are lifting us up with incredibly inspiring displays of courage and resolve. In word and in deed, they are fighting back with everything they have.
So many incredible stories of heroism have emerged in recent days.
A man standing defiantly in front of an oncoming Russian military convoy. A Ukrainian marine detonating a bridge and laying down his own life to stall the Russian advance on Kyiv. A woman bravely and boldly confronting armed Russian soldiers. Civilians standing in front of tanks and armored vehicles.
President Zelensky has said, “No one is going to break us. We are strong. We are Ukrainians.”
We are all witness to the truth behind that pledge.
In the face of such pure evil, the Ukrainian people have shown themselves to be true heroes—showing the world what it means to stand up and fight to defend freedom, and reminding each and every one of us that freedom and liberty are worth fighting and risking your lives for.
In recent days, we have taken a series of actions to express our steadfast support for Ukraine. On Monday, I was honored to be able to pray with the congregation of St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church in Baltimore City to let our Ukrainian community in Maryland know that we stand in solidarity with them, and we terminated Maryland’s 30-year sister state relationship with the Leningrad Region of Russia. I directed all state agencies to immediately review and terminate any and all contracts, procurements, and holdings that may have ties to Russian entities, and I called on the trustees of the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System to take immediate divestment actions with regards to any investments, securities, or holdings with Russian or Russia-affiliated entities.
These measures are symbolic ways for us to send a loud and clear message to Russia that here in Maryland, we stand on the side of peace and freedom.
It is truly inspiring and heartwarming to see all of you here tonight, and people all across our state coming together in this spirit of solidarity. This truly has united the people of Maryland, America, and the world, including the tens of thousands of proud Ukrainian Americans who call our state home and who have been anxiously waiting for news of their loved ones.
Tonight we pray for them and their families, for all those who are suffering, and for the brave people of Ukraine, and we pray for peace.