Photos by Michael Greenlar | Words by Julie McMahon

One year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the local Ukrainian community gathered in Syracuse to mourn, remember lives lost and pray for peace.

Congregants of the St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church gathered Saturday, Feb. 25 for “Moleben for Peace in Ukraine,” (moleben means prayer service).

Community members came together again on Sunday for a candlelight vigil.

The “Pontifical Divine Liturgy for Peace in Ukraine” vigil took place in front of the Taras Shevchenko monument on West Fayette Street in Syracuse. Shevchenko was a Ukrainian poet, artist and political figure whose works celebrated and displayed a pride in Ukrainian culture and independence.

Central Current hopes to offer a space to document and elevate the many Ukrainian voices of our local community. If you or someone you know would like to be part of the series, email Sarah Dolgin at


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Julie McMahon is editor-in-chief of Central Current. She's lived and worked in Syracuse as a reporter, editor and professor of journalism for more than a decade. Contact Julie at