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caption: People gather outside the Russian Embassy in Washington DC, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, protesting the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 
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People gather outside the Russian Embassy in Washington DC, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, protesting the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Credit: Susan Walsh / Associated Press

Northwest reacts to Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Shortly after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine Wednesday evening, Ukrainian-Americans in Washington state began rallying, proclaiming "stand with Ukraine," and displaying the nation's blue and yellow flag on social media and in the community.

The Ukrainian Association of Washington estimates that there are approximately 100,000 people of Ukrainian descent in the state. The association has been urging its community to call the White House and ask for sanctions in recent days.

RELATED: Biden announces new sanctions as Russia attacks Ukraine

A rally against the Russian attacks on Ukraine was held at the University of Washington Thursday afternoon. More are planned for the Space Needle and at local churches. Parishioners at Saint James Cathedral in Seattle were attending an interfaith call for peace Wednesday evening, right before explosions erupted in Ukraine.

As of Thursday morning, there are no new status updates on JBLM soldiers who were placed on stand by for possible deployment to eastern Europe. The Pentagon announced last month that more than 8,500 troops nationwide could be deployed to the region to respond to the Russian aggression toward Ukraine.

Northwest reactions

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (R) said Thursday that Ukrainian-Americans in Washington state can reach out to her office if they need help (206-220-6400 or

Representative Suzan DelBene (D)

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said the city is planning to meet with local Ukrainian community leaders and groups to understand how it can help during this time.

Representative Jaime Herrera-Buetler (R) commented that "I pray for the safety and future of the Ukrainian people right now as they stand up to an unwarranted invasion from a murdering thug."

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee tweeted that "All Washingtonians should be outraged" by the attack on Ukraine.

Representative Pramila Jayapal (D) is among a handful of lawmakers from across the country who have signed a letter to President Biden reminding him he must seek congressional approval for any U.S. military involvement in the Eastern European crisis.

The letter reads, in part: "We strongly urge your administration to respect the separation of powers, U.S. law, and Congress’s constitutional war powers authority. Should your administration seek to introduce U.S. Armed Forces into hostilities or decline to remove any U.S. military personnel currently deployed inside Ukraine from unauthorized hostilities or imminent hostilities, Congress stands ready to deliberate over the potentially monumental implications of such scenarios. The American people, through their representatives in Congress, deserve to have a say before U.S. troops are placed in harm’s way or the U.S. becomes involved in yet another foreign conflict."

Representative Derek Kilmer (D)

Representative Rick Larsen (D)

U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D) is calling on democracies around the world to stand united with Ukraine.

Representative Adam Smith (D)

Representative Marilyn Strickland (D)

Oregon Governor Kate Brown

Idaho Governor Brad Little