NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) — On Orthodox Easter, celebrations both overseas and in Connecticut felt different as Ukrainians fought for their country.
This Orthodox Easter marks two months since Russia invaded Ukraine. While emotions were high, the festivities went on at St. Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in New Britain.
Songs of prayer echoed from churches across Connecticut, calling for peace overseas. Ukrainian parishioners celebrated Orthodox Easter as Russia’s invasion rages on.
Vladimir Dorogibid, who now lives in New Britain thousands of miles from his loved ones in his homeland of Ukraine, called Orthodox Easter a “huge holiday,” noting that it’s hard for him to be away from his family on a day like this.
“Thank God my family is doing good for now, but my family feels a lot of stress,” Dorogibid said.
The chief development officer for the Ukrainian Catholic University Foundation, Alex Kuzma, said that this year’s holiday is somewhat “muted and melancholy.” He is also experiencing the pain that comes with knowing your family is in danger.
“A lot of my friends and family have been going through air raid sirens on a daily basis, so there’s a lot of sense of insecurity,” Kuzma said.
However, he said they were able to go to services and for the most part, take part in the annual Ukrainian festivities — from the offerings of the sweet breads to the intricately designed Easter eggs.
“The Easter celebration is a celebration of the rebirth of the community and also what we see as the resurrection of Ukraine,” Kuzma said, “from this persecution and from this war.”
By honoring their traditions, they’re showing Russia that they’re not standing down — determined to save their country and freedom.
“Remember together we power, Ukrainian people, we’re strong,” Dorogibid said. “I believe in our win. So Happy Easter everybody.”