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Russians and Ukrainians came together Sunday in Winter Park to take photos showing solidarity, sending a message of peace


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Ukrainian and Russian families gather in Winter Park to spread a message of peace. Photo: Danielle Prieur


Russians and Ukrainians across Central Florida came together Sunday at the Winter Park rose garden to send a message of peace amidst the continuing conflict in Ukraine. 

The families, some wearing traditional Russian garb and others wearing Ukrainian dress held hands and signs like “make peace” and “we need peace.” 

Among them was Sergei Kossenko, a musician and composer in the Orlando area who is originally from Russia, but has both Russian and Ukrainian ancestry. 

He says it was important for him to join today’s event. 

“I feel that there is a need in this world for unity for all humankind. I feel that this is the right cause. Nonpolitical, humanitarian rather.”

Alongside Kossenko, was Aleksandra Vargas and her four-year-old daughter. They are both Russian and Ukrainian and were dressed in traditional Russian garb.

She says she’s worried anti-Russian sentiment might continue to rise in the country and affect her family who all speak the language and celebrate the culture. 

“I guess the message is unity and support, and nobody wants this but it’s happening so we’re trying to support the community and promote peace.”

The photo will be circulated on social media channels including Orlando FusionFest’s in order to spread this message of intercultural peace and understanding. 

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »

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