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‘It’s a catastrophe’: New Mexico State University faculty and students protest Russian invasion of Ukraine

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - Students and staffers at New Mexico State University stood in solidarity with Ukraine Monday evening, protesting Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Ilya Shapirovskiy, an associate professor in NMSU's department of mathematics, stood in the crowd with his ten-year-old daughter as she held a sign that read "Stop the war: Peace for Ukraine."

The two may be from Moscow, but they say they do not support Vladimir Putin's decision to invade Ukraine.

"It's a catastrophe," Shapirovskiy said. "It's a crime... Of course, many people in Russia as well as myself do not support this. It is a catastrophe and we hope that somehow it can be stopped."

As of 5 p.m., about 30 people had gathered in front of Corbett Center to show their support for the Ukrainian people.

Irina Zhorzholiani, a native of the country of Georgia, also stood in solidarity with Ukraine on Monday, holding a blue and yellow flag. She reflect on the fear she felt when Russia invaded Georgia in 2008.

"We're here because we know what it is and we don't want those people to suffer," Zhorzholiani said. "We stand here with Ukrainian people. We are against Russian war in Ukraine. We want peace."

Across the country, thousands have rallied in major cities, donning blue and yellow to represent the country's flag. On Sunday night, El Pasoans lit candled and prayed for the people of Ukraine.

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Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.


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