Community Gathered to Mark Second Invasion Anniversary of Ukranian War

Two years after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Cluj-Napoca's Ukrainian community and supporters gathered in solemn commemoration of this tragic anniversary. The War in Ukraine Memorial Meeting in Piața Unirii united those affected by the conflict, serving as a poignant reminder of the war's ongoing toll.

Attendees gathered at 2 PM, carrying Ukrainian flags, memorial candles, and posters. City names, like Kharkiv and Odesa, were displayed in both Ukrainian and English, symbolising global solidarity and a shared understanding of the devastation. This gathering honoured the resilience of the Ukrainian people, including those who have found refuge in Cluj-Napoca.

© ALR Photography / Aaron Roberts

Ukrainian Refugees and Cluj-Napoca's Support

Since the war began, Cluj-Napoca has welcomed Ukrainian refugees with open arms. The city's support and solidarity are reflected in this event and the ongoing efforts to integrate refugees into the community. The vibrant Ukrainian presence in Cluj-Napoca adds to the city's rich multicultural fabric.

We reached out to Cluj-Napoca Mayor, Emil Boc, who sadly was not able to join the gathering as he was not in the city but he said, “I am on your side and I will all my best for the future, as long as it necessary”.

Emilia Botezan, the Head of International Affairs and Foreign Investment Department for the city also expressed her unwavering support of the Ukrainian community, in a statement to Cluj XYZ, she said “Our Cluj way ”TOGETHER. It turned to be a continuous learning for all of us and today we are expressing our gratitude towards all the stakeholders of Cluj ecosystem who contributed with their heart, good will, time and financial resources to make our Ukrainian citizens feel at home in Cluj.

We have advanced from short time interventions to medium and long term vision and action plan so they can consider their staying here, in a genuine European city for a longer time, as much needed or wanted.

I am pleased t to see that learning Romanian is becoming core and more a priority for integration, alongside with education and labour market. May we stand united in the humankind values of democracy! May peace prevail!

The meeting in Cluj-Napoca served as a powerful reminder of the Ukrainian community's unbreakable resolve and the enduring support from those around the world. It mourned losses, celebrated strength, and called for a future where peace prevails and Ukraine's sovereignty is honoured.

Ukraine's Unexpected Resilience, Yet Mounting Challenges

As Ukraine commemorates the second anniversary of the full-scale invasion and a decade since the annexation of Crimea, the resilience and strength displayed by the Ukrainian forces against one of the world's largest armies have indeed surprised the world. Despite being significantly outmatched in terms of military firepower by Russia, Ukraine has managed to mount a robust defence, underscoring the nation's determination and fighting spirit.

© ALR Photography / Aaron Roberts

However, the conflict has intensified challenges, notably in weapon and ammunition shortages. Reports indicate a growing concern as Ukraine faces a critical “gap in the hose” with western ammunition drying up, significantly impacting their ability to withstand Russian attacks. According to NATO and other sources, while Ukraine was firing approximately 4,000 to 7,000 artillery shells daily last summer, Russia launched over 20,000 shells daily, exerting pressure on Ukraine's defence capabilities​.

​Complicating matters, the United States, a key supplier of military aid to Ukraine, has been unable to provide additional assistance since the end of last year. This halt is partly due to political deadlock, with some U.S. lawmakers blocking additional spending. This has led to a situation where support for the Ukrainian military has largely dried up, affecting the frontline troops' capacity to maintain their defense and request more ammunition.

NATO's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has echoed these challenges, highlighting the extensive Russian mobilisation of troops, weapons, and capabilities, further underscoring the dire need for increased support to Ukraine.

World leaders, including Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, gathered in Kyiv to mark the two-year anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. This significant assembly underscored a robust international solidarity with Ukraine, reinforcing the message of unwavering support—financially, economically, militarily, and morally—till the country attains freedom

Events like this throughout Europe and the world demonstrate that the desire for peace and support for Ukraine remain unwavering. While today marks a somber anniversary, it is through remembrance and action that a brighter future may be forged.

In Pictures


Images taken by ALR Photography and are available to download upon request.

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Cluj-Napoca’s City Hall is advancing projects to aid marginalised groups, offering free public transport, social vouchers, and housing assistance to enhance residents’ quality of life.
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